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\/ TYPED BY SHARD -=A((eSS=- 4th AUGUST 1993
PROUDLY PRESENTS - 1869 - FULL MANUAL
We have always been friends of two years of the sailing sport. Around
two years ago we came across a book about clippers of the 19th century.
The elegance of the fast yachts and the atmosphere of the turbulent era
captured us totally.
The real work began after we spontaneously decided to use this theme as
a story for a trade simulation. We spent weeks in University libraries
and museums collecting all available material of that era. The more we
found out the more fascinated we became. In our research the year 1869
seemed to appear most frequently. It was the year of the opening of the
Suez Canal and at the same time the turning point in shipping history.
1869 had to be the title of our simulation.
The time for research and material collecting was over. The examining
and sorting of the material and the first thoughts on the shape of the
game drafts on paper and the programming started.
Right from the start our intention was to create a wide history and
trade simulation, which was as accurate as possible including true
events, and also be graphically superior to previous trade simulations.
After spending approximately three man years, we look back over an
interesting and sometimes hectic time. Through the program we had a
look into a piece of history and experiences varied from war and death
to the splendour and greatness of marked times.
1869 is dedicated not only to the proud ships which sailed the seas in
the last century,but also to the countless men who lost their lives
while performing their hard work.
The World in the 19th Century
Story from 1854 to 1880
The Colonial Powers
The Era from 1800 to 1882
The Role of the British Empire
The Colonial Realm of France
Other Colonial Powers
Events and Conflicts
The Wave of Immigrants
Shipping in the 19th Century
The Development of Shipping
The Blackwall Frigates
The Baltimore Clippers
The Early Clippers
The Heyday of the Clippers
The American Schooners
Wood as a Building Material
Ships of Iron
The Clipper Layout
Shipyards and Shipbuilders
Fates of Famous Ships
The Passage around Cape Horn
The Great T-Race
The Last Witness, The Cutty Sark
The Unlucky giant
Principals of Ship Building
Life on Board
Work on Mail Ships
Sailors on Land
The Life of the Captains
Travel in Luxury Class
Pilot on Board
Catastrophes at Sea
The Lifeboat Pioneer
The Pioneer of Steam Shipping
The Great Fire
The Hand Book for the successful Shipbuilder
Operation of 1869
Installation of 1869
Start of the Game
The Ship Auction
Fast Entry for the Impatient
The Main Chart
In the Tavern
Branches and Registered Offices
Buying and Selling in the Offices
List of Records
Options (Load & Save)
Tips & Tricks
THE WORLD IN THE 19th CENTURY
The Story from 1854 to 1880
The 19th century was the age of change and progress. It was an era for
political reform which, step by step, involved more people taking part in
political decisions and was an era of advance. The threshold of the age
ofindustry promised better production methods, stronger trades and a more
promising future. Natural science added to progress, as new findings
promised longer and healthier lives.
The growing importance of new raw materials like oil and cotton, and the
discovery and increased production of mineral resources gave the economy,
especially in the second part of the 19th century, a tremendous boost.
The second half of the century was a quiet time. Wars did not last very
long and were limited to the smaller regions. A short summary should give
us the most imporiant political events from 1854 to 1880.
1854 The Crimean war between Russia and Turkey is still in full swing.
France and Britain enter the war on Turkeys side. Two years later the
Paris Peace talks ended the Crimean war, the Black sea became a neutral
International maritime law forbade privateering and guaranteed private
ownership in naval warfare. In the same year the Buren Free State
Transvaal was founded and later the Republic of South Africa.
Two years later the East India Company lost its power over India and Great
Britain, who had put a Viceroy into India.
Claims on surrounding South China territories kept leading to wars with
France and Great Britain against China. A long-lived era of tension with
many sealed and broken peace treaties was born.
1860 Abraham Lincoln became the first republican president of the USA.
He was for the abolition of slavery, which meant eleven Southern States
leaving the USA in 1861. The creation of the confederacy was the marked
beginning of the American Civil War between the Northern and Southern
States. After 4 years of bitter fighting the Northern States won due to
their technical superiority.
In 1867 the USA acquired Alaska for a mere 7.2 million dollars from Russia
which was the best business deal of all time. South Africa experienced a
boom era with the discovery of the diamond fields in the Orange Free State.
The opening of the Suez canal in 1869 marked one of the most important
milestones in the world economy. The sea route to Asia was nearly halved
when the dangerous trip around the Cape of Good Hope was no longer
necessary. Just as important was the opening of the Pacific Railway which
connected the West coast with the East coast.
France became Independent in 1870 after a war with Prussia, and a year
later the German Reich was born with Otto von Bismark as Chancellor.
The World Economy
The second half of the century presented itself as the time of prosperity
and technical revolution. The building of Railway Lines had an enormous
boost which in turn increased the demand for steel. The length of the
International railway network increased two fold every ten years.
In 1854 England lifted the last prospected duty and so the era of free
trading began. Through the opening ofthe Suez Canal in 1869 goods from
Europe reached India much quicker. At the same time bigger and faster
ships came into use and pushed out more and more sailing ships. The
importance of raw materials, like oil and cotton increased. The demand for
cotton in Europe was greater due to the lack of production during the
American Civil War.
The finds of gold in America and Austrailia, and Diamonds in South Africa
attracted no end of Europeans to the places of discovery.
Improvement in the steel production enabled expansion of the vechicle and
machine building industries.
Loading capacity was increased greatly by the steamships in 1870.
Agriculture was heavily influenced with production being intensified
rationalised and increased.
Sugar trade improved greatly and cane-sugar was prefered to sugar-beet.
The increase of the world population and the colonization in the nearly
uninhabited parts of the continents of America and Australia, the
development of natural resources, the transition of production to new
techniques and unimaginable expansion in industry, made the world not just
bigger and greater but also brought it closer together.
Steamships and the Railways bridged distances and brought trade partners
closer. World trade increased 4.7 times between 1850 and 189O.
Bigger distances, investments and concentration were the foremost signs of
the new industrial and technical production expansion. Trade kept pace and
increased strongly. The introduction of Industrial and agriculture duty
through the German parliament in an era of free trade meant an economic war
declaration, and the beginning of the pre war period, a time of potentially
high tension and open aggression.
Imperialism is defined as the striving for international standing and
power. An Imperial state would try to affiliate as many territories to
their own political and economic influence. Starting in the mid- seventies
ofthe 19th century in Great Britain, it spread to all great world powers.
Besides the traditional colonial powers of Great Britain, France and
Russia, the USA, German empire, Belgium, Italy and Japan also strived
towards imperial power. The race for the division of the world lasted
until the beginning of the first world war in 1914.
Imperialism is today more of an emotional and negative term, but not so in
the past. It was the utopia of a World Power with international standing
if not World domination. The politics were always of a global type.
Strongly linked with national prestige, it led to excessive Nationalism.
The white race and its civilisation were regarded as superior. That
mentality became more popular, influenced by Darwins theory. The Darwin
theory rested on the conception of the natural elite. With his help all
ofthe brutality against natives and colonial tribes seemed justified.
The actual motives for Imperialism cannot be traced back conclusively. In
1852, Benjamin Disraeli who later became the speaker for British
Imperialism, described the English colonies as "millstones around our
neck". But in 1875 the British minister Edward asked "Who is talking about
giving up the colonies? No demand is as popular as the one to keep our
colonial empire!" With this change of mood, a new era became easily
recognised. The motives were power, prestige and political competitive
thinking. Many people saw it as an important and honourable mission, to
teach primitive people the European culture and way of life. But many
economic interests could have been the founder of Imperialism.
Since the mid 19th century, Europe produced more buying power than the
European was allowed. The goods could no longer be sold on the domestic
market. This increased during the depression years of1873 to 1876. The
industrialists and buyers were forced to look for new outlets and
investment possibilities. The government supported this, as they could
acquire foreign territories which provided useful raw materials for
After England had been in the process of building a gigantic empire, other
states began to desire world power. As the realisation of this goal
involved the use of force and the building of railways and roads, only the
great Powers with accordingly big war and trade fleets could be involved.
Through the acquisition and economic exploitation of foreign territory, the
Imperial states increased their power and wealth. It used any means
available from the commercial activity of single settlers in contracted
trade-connections to forceful oppression of the natives. The raw material
of the colonies was exploited and shipped to the mother country. There it
was manufactured into end-products and partly resold to the colonies at a
great profit. A most profitable cycle for the colonial powers' economy
The Colonial Powers
Europe had several colonial eras during the 16th century, with it also
colonial powers. In the beginning it was Spain and Portugal who were the
leading powers, but in the 19th century it was Great Britain, France and
The heyday of Imperialism began between 1870 and 1880, and finished just
before the 2nd World War. The world became divided under the few colonial
powers. Approximately 72 million square kilometres and over 560 million
people were under colonial rule in 1914. That made up more than half the
total land surface of the earth and nearly a third of the worlds population
The Time Between 1880 until 1882
After Latin America's independence, the European possessions overseas
became smaller. Generally the colonial empire shrank in the first quarter
of the 19th century.
Several reasons didnt allow for amn increase in colonialism, Because of the
withdrawal of mercantilism through the free trade, the foundation was taken
away, especially in America. Through defensive politics and further trade
preferences, it was advantageous to own as many colonies, trade stations
and most of all ports. The beginning of free trade led to the freeing of
restrictions. England opened its colonies to foreign ships and traders.
So England contributed greatly to the success of free trade politics, even
before it finally abolished the trade monopoly between the mother country
and the colonies in 1849.
By then free trade was already happening. The reorganisation of Europe
after the Vienna congress and the following 5 year peace, reduced the
military and strategic value of many possessions. Many of them were only
dead pledges or diplomatic exchange objects. Thanks to Englands
overpowering fleet, it managed to acquire significant territorial
possessions, England was in the position to lay claim to all overseas
regions and enforce it. As the British didn't seek further expansion, no
systematic political expansion took place in Europe. It wasn't the
anti-imperialist attitude that stopped them. As Canada, Australia and also
the United States were freely available to Immigrants, England as leading
industrial power, was not dependent on the colonial market outlets.
Most European states were skeptical over new acquisitions of colonies until
One assumes that because of the colonial and expansion policies, no
overseas acquisitions were made. Local interest and the wish for securing
borders around possessions, were the main reasons for further occupation.
The impetus came from the colonies themselves. The industrialisation and
the great technical advance brought a vast widening of trade connection to
the whole world, The development of the steamship gave International trade
an enormous boost. This increased political interference. The development
of military technique and the power structure benefited Europe. No non
European country, with the exception of the USA, had resistance to the
military power. A small English expedition corps was able, through their
advanced weapon superiority and the efficient use of their means, to bring
China to it's knees between 1839 and 1842. The conquest of India was also
due to the military superiority of the English. Great empires fell apart
after confrontations with Europes super power. The ease of occupying new
colonies led to a strengthening of colonial expansion as never before
The Role of the British Empire
The British Colonial Empire differed through its size and diversity, and
free trade differed greatly from other colonial powers. At it's peak
around 1933, the British Empire had extended to a hardly imaginable 31.6
million square kilometres and a population of 502 million. That was nearly
the equivalent of a quarter of the land surface of the earth and nearly a
quarter of the population.
In 300 years of colonial politics, the British had built an enormous
empire. Every adjoining region, with the exception of the USA was included
in the Empires federation.
India was regarded by the English as the foundation pillar of the empire.
The securing and controlling of the sea route was, therefore, a priority
task. In particular the Suez Canal played a decisive role. The opening of
the canal in 1869 was the most important occurance for the history of
modern India and for the trade in Europe and would become of fundamental
importance as trading volume doubled in susequent years.
And yet Great Britian had initially opposed the building of the canal as
she suspected a hostile move by the French. One year after the opening of
the canal the British government even rejected the acquisition of a share
package offered by Egypt. The change in British canal politics was
demonstrated in 1875 by Benjamen Disraeli, an ardent representative of the
new imperialism, when he ordered the acquisition of the share package. A
furthur demonstrative step to manifest the interest in India and the
connecting routes was the proclamation of Queen Victoria, the Empress of
India. On the 1st January 1877. Through her interest in the Suez Canal,
England became more and more involved in the affairs of India and the
country finally came under British rule in the year 1882. Of equally great
strategic importance for the securing of the sea routes was the acquisition
of Cyprus in 1878.
Originaily the conquest of India was not planned, the intention merely
being to protect British trade and to create strong points.
Only when the real importance of the Indian market became apparent,
Englands interest grew. Politically too, India was important for England.
Although a poor country, India was a great military empire. England placed
herself in an already feathered nest so to speak and became herself one of
the two main powers of the East. At one stroke, therefore, the British
Empire had under its control an additional population of 200 million
inhabitants. No other European colony was of such political and economical
More than any other. the Indian army increased the political and military
might of Britian. One has to bear in mind that although Britain had at her
disposal the strongest naval force, her regular army which numbered 250,000
men distributed in garrisons throughout the empire, was militarily
superior. With the aid of the Indian army deploying over 150,000 men and a
huge mobilisation reserve, Britain was able to establish itself as the
greatest landforce of the East. Moreover the Indian army was completely
maintained by India. Thus Britain was able to play a leading roll in world
politics which could never have been paid for by the British taxpayer.
Only in this way was it possible for the British to play a leading role in
the apportioning of East Africa and South East Asia.
Possessions in the Mediterranean were strategically important strong
points. Gibraltar, Malta and the Ionian Islands had already been acquired
before 1815. Cyprus and Egypt joined in 1878 and 1882 so that the sea
route to India through the Suez Canal was completely secured. Up to 1880
the expansion in Africa proceeded very slowly. It was only in the last
twenty years of the 19th century that this process was accelerated by the
race of the colonial powers. At first the African colonies appeared to be
without importance economically but changed subsequently due to the
increasing significance of their products for world trade. In particular
the diamond and gold finds of 1868, 1869 and 1886 in the Transvaal drew the
British to Africa So in 1871 the diamond fields belonging to the Orange
free state and those in the Transvaal (1877) were annexed. At the height
of imperialism the British dreamt of an Africa British from the Cape to
Cairo. On British territory a railway line was to cross the whole of
Africa from North to South. However this dream of the British was never to
During the course of this time the importance of many colonies underwent
change. Especially the Island colonies that had been annexed initially for
purely strategic reasons. Due to the increasing demand for their products
such as rare wood and rice on the world market, the colonies acquired
economical gain. Many colonies supplied valuable raw materials and thus
improved the British Balance of trade. The richer colonies were also good
markets for British goods. Many colonies however. produced and consumed
very little. With strictly economic profitability considerations the
British would have dispensed with many of their colonies.
The Colonial Empire of France
The French colonial empire was similar to that of Great Britain because of
its diversity and geographical scattering. However France did not possess
colonies of the importance of India or the British dominions such as Canada
and Australia. France too did not pursue planned colonial policies from
the 19th century up to the year 1871. Local interests and lawsuits were
the main reason for new acquisitions although the protection of missionary
stations and trading bases were further considerations.
Compared with England the essential difference was that France owned few
colonies at the start of the 19th century which could have led to the
starting point of further expansion. Also French overseas trading was too
unimportant to make further acquisitions of colonies meaningful. For
French colonial thinking the economic aspects were decisive. In order of
interest the colonies had to yield profits for the mother country. Further
more, France continued to adhere for a long time to mercantilism since
France was inferior to Great British as far as industry and shipping were
concerned. Up until 1860 the colonies were only allowed to trade with the
mother country and French traders. However, since France sought an
improvement in its relations with Great Britain and its colonies depended
on British goods, it introduced free trading for a period of time. In 1860
the colonial markets were opened and customs duties lowered. Free trading
was extended to include the West Indies in 1861. Guyana and Senegal in
1864 and Algeria in 1867.
In the main French Imperialism concentrated on the development of Africa
and on the conquest of Indochina. To this end friction frequently arose
with the British. In Africa the evident goal was a compact territory in
the shape of a West East belt. Following much fighting with China the
French were able to secure their influence and their possession of
Tongking, Annam and Laos.
After 1871 French Imperial politics were greatly influenced by the defeat
inflicted by Germany. France lost the war against Germany during the years
1870 and 1871. Consequently the French had to relinquish their position of
priority in Europe to the German empire and they feared political
isolation. In order to be recognised once again as a world power, the
French intensified their endeavours towards new colonies with the aim of
once more extending their sphere of power.
The Other Colonial Powers
The colonial territories of all other countries were relatively small
compared with those of England and France and they were sharply defined
geographically. The crucial points of Portugal, Germany and Belgium were
in Africa. The Russians colonies were of considerable size but formed a
geographical unit with the mother country.
Hollands colonial empire streched across Indonesia and some smaller islands
in the West Indies. As the only modern colonial empire the Netherlands
stopped expanding during the period from 1815 to 1945 and were satisfied
with occupying and developing the already existing territories. The island
world of Indonesia was indeed one of most valuable European possessions.
It was typical plantation colony and yielded considerable profit with
exported goods such as sugar tobacco. rubber, coffee, copper, mineral oil
and tin. The colonial government in Batvia possessed similar authority as
granted to Calcutta by the British.
Although Portugal belonged to the first colonial powers it acquired the
majority of its possessions only after 1884. In spite of being a poor and
martially weak country it was able to keep its colonies longest. By 1884,
however, the Portuguese colonial empire was marked by disintegration. From
1580 to 1882 it lost one colony after the other. Only with the colonial
division of Africa at the end of the 19th century the empire was once again
enlarged. Its gains were due to the rivalry of the other states. So
territories such as Angola and Mosambique were practically given to
Portugal as a buffer zone against British expansion. Portuguese colonial
politics, however, could not compete with the other states and failed to
yield the expected profit.
The Belgian colonial empire consisted of just one territory-the Congo.
However this colony was practically the private property of King Leopold.
By cunning and shifty moves he succeeded, aided by misled humanitary
organisations to make the Congo his possession. He exploited this
territory in an unyielding and drastic manner and caused many critics to
protest. It was only in 1908 that the Congo became the possession of the
Belgian state. Due to the rigorous exploitation and because of rich
mineral resources this colony was especially profitable.
Germany's colonial politics started as late as 1884 under Bismarck. The
few colonies were a product of colonial apportioning and yielded only small
economic profit. By 1919 the brief era of colonialism ended for Germany.
Events and Conflicts
One of the most important events for International trade was the abolition
of the Navigation Act 1849. This law decreed by England in 1651 said that
only English ships could call at ports in the British colonies. Equally
all merchandise whether for import or export had to be distributed via
English ports even when the goods were destined for another country. This
form of trading restriction coupled with often high prospective duty is
regarded as mercantilism and was also practised by other states. Free
trade as a mutually open system was also introduced during the first half
of the 19th century by England and also by the United States. With the
abolition of the Navigation act in 1849 all British ports were opened for
foreign dealers and ships. Considerig the size of the British empire and
its preeminent economical standing this was of enormous importance for
trade. Equally great was its model function for other states which were no
longer able to resist the free trade.
In 1859 the construction project of the century and milestone in shipping
was started. Based on the drawings of the Austrian Negrelli and under the
management of the Frenchman Lessops the Suez canal was built over a period
of ten years. The opening in 1869 marked one of the most important turning
points of International trade. The lockless canal cuts through the Isthmus
of Suez between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. With a length of
173 kilometres and a depth of some 14 metres it connects Suez and Port
Said. Due to the canal the sea route from Europe to Asia is almost halved
and also the dangerous and time consuming route around the Cape of Good
Hope became unecessary for the Far East traveller. British colonial
politics were greatly influenced by the Suez Canal. In order to secure the
sea route many territories were annexed including Egypt in 1882. To the
present day the Suez Canal has remained a political bone of contention even
though its political importance has diminished.
The most important events from 1853 to 1884 were; the occupation of the
Danube principalities by the Russians leads in 1853 to the start of the
Crimean War. Russia fights against Turkey and France and Great Britain
enters the war on the side of the Turks. In 1854 an American naval
squadron forces the opening of Japanese ports. In the following era of
1855 Alexander II becomes the Czar of Russia and the famous explorer and
missionary David Livingstone crosses Africa and discovers the Victoria
Falls. His travels and those of other explorers arouse great interest in
Africa throughout Europe. In 1856 the Paris Peace Treaty terminates the
Crimean war, paris of Besarabia go to Turkey and the Black Sea is
neutralised. Russia loses its pre-eminence to France. In Africa the Boer
freestate off Transvaal is founded. One year later the British and French
start the Lorcha War against China and occupy Canton. Following rebellions
the East India Company is wound up in 1858 and a Viceroy appointed by Great
Britain takes over British rule in India. Due to the Peace Treaty of
Tientsin, China is forced to open several ports for European ships. In
1859 France conquers Saigon in Indochina and Russia subjugates the
Caucasus. Mineral oil production begins in the United States and Russia.
One year later England and France occupy Peking and force China to ratify
the Treaty of Tsientsin.
France and Great Britain decide to abolish the protective duty by way of
trade treaty and introduce a most-favoured clause. After secession of
eleven southern states and the formation of a confederation the Secession
Civil war breaks out in 1861 between the Northern and Southern States. In
1864 the Northern states win the war due to their great technical and
industrial superiority. Slavery is abolished in the United States. In
1866 Prussia goes to war with Italy against Austria and the German
confederacy. With Austria losing the war, this means the end of the German
confederacy. Austria separates from Germany and Venice becomes part of
Italy In 1867 Canada becomes a British dominion Maximillian, Archduke of
Austria and emperor of Mexico since 1864, is captured and executed by the
former president Juarez after his retreat of the French troops. Mexico
once more becomes a republic under President Juarez. In 1868 William
Gladstone, the leader of the Liberals, becomes British Prime Minister. In
Japan the power of the shoguns ends and the newly appointed Emperor starts
the 'europeanization' of Japan. In 1870 war breaks out between France and
Germany. Germany wins the war in 1871 and occupies Paris.
In Versailles the German Empire is founded under Chancellor of the Reich
Otto von Bismark and Emperor Wilheim 2nd. Due to its defeat France loses
its preeminent position to the German Reich. During the same year the
neutralisation of the Black Sea is cancelled. The famous meeting between
Stanley and Livingstone takes place in East Africa. In 1874 the
conservative Benjamin Disraeli becomes British Prime Minister. Annan
Tonkinh became a French protectorate. In 1875 war breaks out between Egypt
and Abyssinia which is won by Abyssinia in 1879. In 1876 Queen Victoria of
England is proclaimed Empress of India. In the following year war breaks
out again between Russia and Turkey. The Russians advance as far as
Constantinople. Great Britain annexes Transvaal Freestate. In 1878 the
Balkan states gain independence. Turkey cedes Cyprus to England. In 1879
the Saltpeter War between South America and China commences and is
eventually won by Chile in 1884. One year before the death of Disraeli,
William Gladstone becomes British Prime Minister for the second time.
Tunis becomes a French possession and Italy begins the conquest of Eritrea.
In 1881 Italy conquers Somaliland and during the following year Egypt
becomes a British Protectorate. In 1884 the first German colonies are
established in South West Africa including the Cameroons, Togo, East
Africa, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archpelago and the Marshall Islands.
From 1871 first Reichs Chancellor of the German Empire founded by him.
Dismissed by Emperor Wilheim II. in 1890.
The Flood of Immigrants
From 1846 to 1855 over two million people sailed across the Atlantic to the
West. This amounted to nearly half as many as in the seventy years from
the time of the Independence declaration to 1845. Most of these immigrants
were impoverished people without civil rights. They fled from political
upheavals and famine in the hope of starting their new life in a homeland,
worthy of human beings. But business people and tourists made this journey
For most of the passengers this sea journey was to become a time of hard
tests and great misery. On the mail boats there were so many people
pressed together that undernourishment and illnesses occurred more and more
frequently. This state of affairs improved only with the introduction of
the steamships which with effect from the middle of the 19th century
enticed the passengers away from the mail boats. As long as the immigrants
crowded on the mail boats the crossing became a real nightmare for many.
On average such a journey took 35 to 40 days, but often twice as long in
bad weather. The immigrants were accommodated between decks, normally up
to 800 people on a 1000 ton ship. One has to imagine the steerage as a
dark smelly room which due to the large number people caused agoraphobia.
The ships bottom was sometimes positioned so low within the cargo space
that water ingressed through the planks. Rats were a familiar sight and
fresh air came only through the hatches. However bad weather these hatches
were frequently tightly closed causing stench due to lack of ventilation.
the generation of the smell. The hygienic devices, of which there were
hardly any or very few, became even worse.
Even whilst asleep, the steerage passengers were not able to forget the
daily inconveniences. Sleep hardly came into consideration on 1.80 metre
long bunks, which were arranged in two or three tiers, one on top of the
other. The bunks were 45 centimetres wide, or also 1.80 metres wide,
whereby more than four passengers often then had to be accommodated in one
bunk. As the main deck was off limits during stormy weather, the
conditions became even more aggravated. To make matters worse, clothing
and the bedding was, for the most part, wet through, as the hatch covers
were not closed in time when the storms began and waves lashed into the
steerage area. Generally, nothing dried until the end of the voyage, so
everything remained damp and smelt accordingly.
After the conditions in the steerage area and the situation of the
passengers leaked out to the public by various investigations. parliment
felt compelled to pass the Passenger Ship Law of 1848. A minimum space
requirement was now stipulated for each passenger. However, shipowners and
captains took no notice of this law for economic reasons.
Precisely at a time when rigid rules were laid down for relationships
between sexes, on the majority of the emigrant ships there was not even
separate areas for men and women.
With crowds of people pushed together in small spaces, smells and dirt
could not be avoided. On one occasion a Canadian government inspector
found during investigations on the mail boat "Lady MacNaughton" that the
few vacant spaces between decks were filled with ,ship biscuit leftovers,
bones, rags and all types of rubbish, all rotting and full of maggots. The
stench was considered to be worse than the filth as one could shut ones
eyes in order not to see the dirt, but the stench was ever present. The
smell of rotting wood and that of earlier and new cargo intermingled with
the odour of hundreds of people producing an unbearable stench.
Hermann Melville. the author of Moby Dick remembers his time as a crew
member on a transatlantic ship. When one week after sailing "one put one's
head through the front hatch one could believe that one was placing one's
head into a suddenly opened cesspit.
But not only stench and dirt caused the passengers between decks much
trouble. For their health the completely inadequate food was surely more
detrimental with which they had to exist for weeks and months.
A shipowner admitted openly that the normal diet was adequate to prevent
dying of starvation but not to survive and thrive." Small wonder therefore
that on some ships ten percent of the passengers died on the sea. The
surviving passengers were almost always undernourished when they finally
set foot on land.
At the beginning of the flood of immigrants the passengers had to bring
their own food for consumption on board, but later a law was passed to
ensure minimum rations were available. The shipowners and captains,
however, found many ways to evade such legislation. It was for instance
customary to have the required provisions on board at the time of sailing
but to send back to land after sailing a large part of the provisions on
with the help of escort vessels. It also happened that food was sold to
the immigrants at cut throat prices instead of being distributed free of
charge as prescribed.
A further difficulty was the preparation of food. On nearly all ships the
cooking facilities were totally insufficient for the number of passengers.
Often the facilities could not be used at all in bad weather. It can be
taken from a contemporary report that often only six cooking facilities
were available for 400 passengers.
A constant battle raged over the preparation of meals. Women travelling on
their own often had no choice but to starve for days on end. Sometimes the
ships cook would prepare meals for the immigrants but demand payment for
the privilege. Thus bribery became the only means of acquiring several
meals per day. Poorer passengers without the required financial resources
had to make do with one warm meal per day or even one meal every other day.
An equally big problem was the drinking water supply. A law stated that
each adult passenger was entitled to three litres of fresh water daily.
Many ships. however. obtained their water from rivers and this was often
not fresh. Furthermore the storage of water in barrels left a lot to be
desired. According to legislation water was to be kept in clean barrels
provided for the purpose, but in actual practice this did not occur.
Consequently the water was often putrid and practically undrinkable upon
distribution, and led to diseases such as cholera, smallpox and typhoid.
On some ships these diseases spread to such an extent that a captain
recorded the following:- "it is a miracle, indeed, that so many survived
the journey." Of course the immigrants were medically examined before going
on board the ships, but these examinations were more than superficial and
correspondingly useless. Feared more than other diseases was typhoid.
This disease was widespread whenever many people stayed together and it
became known as "jail fever or camp fever". When the wave of immigration
reached its climax and the number of typhoid cases on the ships increased
dramatically, the disease was called "ship fever".
Despite all the difficulties, migration continued across the Atlantic to
the land of promise. America. without diminishing. Fortunately the
journeys were not always difficult. On some mail-boats the immigrants
formed selfhelp groups in order to cope with the adversities of the
journey. They cared for the sick, attempted to protect themselves against
theft and helped women who travelled alone to resist encroachment from the
crew and other passengers.
Around the middle of the 19th century some 250,000 people crossed the
Atlantic on average and up to half a million during peak periods. The mail
boats transported ambitious cargoes ranging from rails for railways to
French wine. With the introduction of steam ships to the traffic across
the Atlantic mail boats became less viable. By 1863 steam ships had gained
a 45% share of the passenger traffic and by 1866 the percentage had grown
The mail boats managed to remain competitive for a while carrying heavy
cargos such as grain and coal. By 1878 however three of the five major
lines had been shut down, namely the Red Star Line, The Blue Swallowtail
Line and the Dramatic Line. The trail blazing Black Ball Line ceased
trading after the summer of 1878 and most ocean-going mail boats were
turned into cash. On the 18th May 1881 the last mail boat arrived in New
York. She was appropriate named "NE PLUS ULTRA" - No Further."
SHIPPING IN THE 19th CENTURY
The Development of Shipping
As strange as it may sound the development of the proud clippers was not
the only product of the 19th century. These fast sailing ships were the
last link in a long history of development which began in pre-christian
times. The ancestors of the clippers were not the ships of the
Phoenicians, Egyptians or Romans but the narrow and fast boats of the
Vikings. Many centuries of shipbuilding led finally to that perfection
which helped to create the last and best sailing ships.
From the 17th century one can trace the theory of the construction of fast
ships. From the middle of the 18th century water tank experiments were
carried out with various models and around 1840 the brothers James and
William Hall were engaged in model tests in a three metre long glass tank.
A three centimetre layer of turpentine which was coloured red, was poured
onto the water surface.
A scale model of a boat was pulled through the water by a weighted line
running over a reel. Based on the movement of the red turpentine one was
able to arrive at conclusions regarding the effects of various bow and
stern shapes. By the use of different models with equal transaction weight
it was possible to carry out efficiency comparisons. Today's drag tests
are carried out in large plants and they are fully computer aided. But in
the end this is merely a perfection of the test method which was used 300
The Blackwell Frigates
After the shutdown ofthe East Indian company in 1833 and the advent of the
steamships it became necessary to build faster ships. The ships used to
date had simply become too slow and thus uneconomical. The shipbuilders
were forced to change their views and to adapt their designs to the
requirements of the time. The Blackwell Frigates, a newer faster type of
ship were created and derived their name from the Blackwell dockyard of
Green and Wigram. In 1837 the Seringapalam left the dockyard as the first
ship of the new type. Although she had virtually the same length width
ratio as the East Indian Vessels, there were clearly sharper lines and only
a small poop. With the launching of the 1200 ton Prince of Wales in 1842
the new construction desighn had been used for the first time on a larger
Blackwell frigates were also built on the Thames and in the North of
England on the Wear and Tyne. The two most successful ships were built in
the years 1846 and 1848 in the dockyard of T & W Smith on the Tyne. They
were the Marlborough weighing 1402 tons and a length of 53 metres and the
"Blenheim" 1314 tons. Both ships had flush decks without raised poop and
Compared with the clippers the Blackwell Frigates were still heavy and
showed round lines. They were used for carrying passengers and cargo to
India. Following the striking of gold in Australia and the correspondingly
increased demand for passenger ships, the building of the Blackwell
Frigates especially for the passenger traffic to Australia was started.
The first clippers took away the importance for the fast passenger and
cargo traffic from the Blackwell Frigates. Later they would become the
preferred conveyance for cargoes where speed was of lesser importance.
The Baltimore Clippers
During the Era of the Blackwell frigates, the Baltimore Clippers had their
heyday. These schooners, built on the East coast of America, were
considered during the first quarter of the 19th century to be the fastest
ships in the world. During the war between the United States and Great
Britain they were, therefore, preferentially used as privateers and
A typical privateer schooner possessed very sharp lines and a long outrun
towards the stern. The continuous deck was almost free of super
structures. Because of their superior speed they liked to invade British
trading convoys. plunder them and sail away from the warships without
great difficulty. It was only when unfavourable wind conditions prevailed
that they could be captured by the ships of the British Navy.
After the war the Baltimore Clippers were used for the slave trade. From
1820 onwards the slave trade was classed illegal and opposed by the most
important states. British ships cruised the coasts of Africa under orders
to capture and seize slave ships. Thus. Baltimore clippers were used due
to their great speed and ability to avoid these patrolling vessels. In
fact due to their success rate, schooners of this type became the chosen
vessel of the slave traders.
The British Navy made great endeavours to foil the Baltimore Clippers. New
ships were built to incorporate many construction features of the Baltimore
Clippers, and subsequently they became more succesful in their role. When
slave trading was outlawed in 1850, the Baltimore Clippers lost their
importance . They were unsuitable for use as normal merchant ships because
of their limited loading capacity.
The Early Clippers
The name Clipper for fast-sailing ships is still controversial. It is
often misunderstood as a name for a definite type of ship. Generally
speaking one may consider the fast sailing ships dating from the 19th
century onward as clippers, independent of their construction and rigging.
Primarily they were rigged and sailed with speed in mind. Loading
capacity, running costs, comfort and safety were of lesser importance.
The demand for clippers resulted in enormous profit due to their fast
and specialised transportation capabilities.
In the first half of the 19th century this was offered by the opium and tea
trade. The first landing of one season's tea yielded great premiums and
the importers paid high freight rates for the first loads. Also for the
gold finds in California and Australia around the middle of the century
fast ships were needed. They were to take gold diggers and materials as
quickly as possible to the places of discovery. The clippers did not
represent a completely new concept but formed part of a tradition of
continuing development and adaption to market requirements. Especially the
shape of the hull of the ship was improved. The American shipping
historian Howard I. Chapelle wrote that on the clipper not one special
feature was incorporated which would have been completely new. "Thus it
was the combination, and improvement of proven elements which made these
ships so fast and successful.
During the period from 1840 to 1850 the American shipbuilders led their
European competitors in the development of fast sailing ships. In America
it was customary for the clippers to take gold prospectors to California
around Cape Horn, to sail across the Pacific with Ballast and start the
homeward journey to New York or Boston with tea from China. The fast
clippers were especially suited for this journey. After the abolition of
the Navigation Act 1849 American clippers were also used for the tea trade
The best ships were built on the North East coast of the United States of
the United States. They were in most instances built completely out of
wood and lined with copper plate below the water line. A large number of
these ships had three fully rigged masts. They had a greater length/width
ratio than the ships of that time.
Due to the great demand for fast ships and the reputation of the American
shipbuilders many British shipowners ordered clippers from the United
In Great Britain the reorganisation of tonnage dimensions led in 1836 to a
rethink concerning ship construction. One thought was to keep the rudder
action as low as possible by corresponding construction of the ships hull.
James and William Hall from the Alexander Hall & Sons dockyard in Aberdeen
developed a type of ship which according to the new dimensioning rules even
resulted in a saving of steering action. The most outstanding feature was
the so-called Aberdeen bow, an extremely wide stern which jutted out. The
first ship of this new design was the "Scottish Maid" built in 1839. By
and by the proven Aberdeen Bow also influenced by the construction method
of the other British shipyards and many smaller excellent clippers were
However, when in 1854 another system of tonnage dimensioning was
introduced, the Aberdeen bow lost its importance and was ousted by the less
extreme clipper bow. The British clippers around 1850 were smaller than
the American ships, but they represented the English fast sailing ships of
the next quarter of a century.
The Heyday of the Clippers
Around 1850 the need for the shortest possible delivery times emerged in
all trading areas. Therefore fast ships could obtain high freight rates.
Resulting from thi was a correspondingly great demand for fast clippers
with adequate loading capacity. Even when in most publications the peak of
the clippers is considered to have occured during the time from 1860 to
1870 more extreme clippers were built from 1850 to 1855 for the greatest
number of application ranges that would ever happen again. During the
Crimean war a record number of new ships were built and in the year 1855
steam ships and sailing ships with a total tonnage of 323200 were
constructed. But only a low percentage of this applied to clippers.
Towards 1860 the number of newly built clippers decreased greatly although
an exception to this rule were the tea clippers.
The gold finds in Australia had great influence on the development and
distribution of clippers, particularly in England. A letter by G.H.Heaton,
captain of the "Thomas Arbuthnot", points to the conditions in the port of
Sydney. The letter was printed in the "Times" on the 10th September 1851.
It Read as follows:-
"Gentlemen, i assume you know of the rumours about the discovery of
extensive gold fields in New South Wales which brought about an upheaval of
a kind which in my opinion can afflict a country. The colony is completely
paralysed Each man and each boy as far as he is able to hold a shovel goes
to the gold fields if he is not there already Many places of work are
completely deserted. The consequence of this is that sheep and cattle are
abandoned. The prices of almost all foods have risen by about 200% in some
cases and when one thinks of the next grain harvest which will greatly fall
off because of the lack of labour then it is clear that the means of
subsistence for man and beast will become very scarce and dear. No doubt a
wave of immigration will commence in all parts of Europe as soon as the
news has gone round.
We have Australian gold aboard to the value of �800 which is the first gold
shipped out of the colony it was purchased by four gentlemen, managing
partners of different merchant firms in Sydney , on site.
The gold consisted of lumps of almost pure gold and the largest lump was
just short of four pounds by 2 ounces. When this lot was taken to the ship
much more gold was lying in Bathhurst awaiting a military escort which it
was hoped would be authorised by the Government. The gold we have abroad
was brought here by four gentlemen armed to the teeth.
I had great difficulties getting away from Sydney, Although I had doubled
the wages of the crew, six or seven men left as soon as this matter became
known. Anticipating what would probably happen I arranged for a tugboat to
tug the ship to the "Heads".
Day and night I positioned an armed policeman at each and every end of the
ship. Nevertheless the swimmers still managed to get off. All measures
taken caused great expense. When I put to sea, the Lady Clarke remained
behind ready sail. Without a soul on board but the captain. I think that
- carrying his mustering roll in his pocket - he was on his way to
Bathhurst thinking that he would be able to persuade some sailors to return
to the ship to be mustered.
The sailors who had stayed on in Sydney demanded �80 for the journey back
and the guarantee that a ship would be provided for their immediate return
to Sydney. I paid five to six pounds per month for the men that I
Yours very faithfully,
sgd . G . M. Hamilton."
A huge migration wave to America commenced and the shipowners foresaw
business opportunities. In the following year the most extreme clippers to
leave the dockyards of Britain were built. These Australian clippers
required fine lines for the journey across the Atlantic but they also had
to permit the use of sails during storms in the "Roaring Forties". At this
time the first clippers appeared. The length-width ratio was increased to
7:1. The masts became higher and amounted to almost two thirds of a ships
Usually they were equipped with fully square sails and provided a sail
expanse of up to 3,000 square metres with three masts. Towards the end of
the century fully rigged ships with up to five masts appeared and in
exceptional cases had even six or seven masts. From 1860 onwards the best
ships hulls were made of Iron.
The end of the big time of the clippers came with the opening of the Suez
Canal. Due to the "stinking ditch" as the canal was unkindly called by the
sailors the Eastern route became also profitable for the steamships. The
same consequences emerged due to the opening of the Panama Canal. Although
it would still take until the end of the 19th century before the steamships
would outnumber sailing ships, the end of sailing vessel shipping was in
A final upsurge in sailing vessel shipping was experienced at the beginning
of the seventies but the sailing ships could no longer keep pace with the
rapid development of the steamships. The only clipper to survive was the
"Cutty Sark" and she can still be seen as a relic of a past epoch in a dry
dock in London.
The American Schooners
Around the middle of the 19th century an increasing number of steamships
were used by America for coastal trade. The sailing ships were then
utilized for the transportation of heavy and bulky cargoes such as grain,
building timber, coal, cotton and various building materials. This
resulted in an increased demand for bigger schooners able to transport this
merchandise economically. Up to the year 1870 mainly three- mast schooners
with a tonnage of 1,000 were used. Their construction was influenced by
the American mainyard clippers. Since they had been designed specifically
for special routes and cargoes, with low building and running costs
compared with the steamships and necessitating a small crew only, they were
quite capable of competing with the steamships.
From 1870 onwards shipbuilding switched to large schooners. Most
frequently four-masters up to 1,500 t were built. Five-masted schooners
above 2,000 t also proved popular and were built mainly with the overseas
trade in mind. Barring a few exceptions these schooners were completely
made of wood.
The combined steam/sailing ship "Savannah" managed in 1819 to cross the
Atlantic for the first time under steam. Oddly enough this machine was
operable for only 88 hours due to its heavy fuel requirements. The glory
of the first crossing of the Atlantic with the aid of a steam engine
belongs to the small steam ship "Sirius". After she had put to sea at Cork
on 4th April 1838, she arrived at New York on the 22nd April with 40
passengers on board. She nearly failed to reach America when her coal
stock ran out and as a result the captain ordered the burning of the
interior equipment and the rigging. This proved to be necessary since a
few hours after the "Sirius" arrived, her rival the "Great Western" docked
The struggle for power between sail and steam lasted virtually until the
turn of the century. Although the steamships were largely independent of
wind and weather, they had numerous shortcomings. One of the greatest
problems was their enormous fuel requirement. Due to the large quantity of
fuel needed the running costs of the steamships were much higher than those
of the sailing ships. The opening of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal
substantially reduced this disadvantage.
Power derived from paddle wheels was a further weakness of the steamships.
Due to the consumption of combustable materials the ship rose even higher
out of the water. The paddle wheels then failed to reach their optimum
immersion depth and the ship noticably lost more power. In heavy seas the
paddle wheels dipped irregular and the controllerbility of the ship was
impaired. Often the paddle wheels were severly damaged by the action of
waves. It was common place for steamships to drift along on the high seas
for days in such a condition.
The introduction of the propellor which eliminated the disadvantages of
paddle wheels proved to be a great step forward in nautical development.
But even this new innovation there were still obstacles to be overcome
until mature conditions were completely attained.
For a long time the steamships were mainly used for coastal trade. It is
true to say that there were some well-known atlantic- crossing steamships,
but the majority only navigated short distances near the coast.
Only after the opening of the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal the big hour
had struck for the steamships.
At last they could be profitabley used for the Eastern voyages and for
shuffle traffic along the Western and Eastern coasts of the United States.
In spite of everything there was only a tonnage of 3.5 millions of
steamships compared with an 18 million tonnage worldwide in the year 1880.
The demise of the sailing ships loomed but did not actually take place
until the end of the 19th century. In the year 1900 the turning point was
reached and compared with 16,000 steamships with a registered tonnage of
more than 22 million worldwide there were only 12,000 sailing ships left
with a total registered tonnage of 6.5 million. Within a century steam
power had ousted the sailing ships which had dominated for thousands of
Wood as a Burning Material
For centuries wood had been the material traditionally used in
shipbuilding. The art of wood processing for shipbuilding had been
perfected based on long tradition and experience. Oak wood was considered
most suitable for ships. For the building of a ship huge quantities of
wood were required. At the beginning of the 19th. century one tonne of
wood was used per ship's tonne. In the case of warships the wood
requirement was double. Half of the wood, however, was lost during
processing. Especially in Britain good wood for ships became very
expensive in the 19th century as the native forests had been depleted.
Therefore, the British were forced to import oak wood from Canada or the
Adriatic countries. It was, therefore, not surprising that Iron ships
increasingly gained importance in Britain.
For large ships massive wood thicknesses were required in order to obtain
the necessary strength of the hull.
The larger the ship, the bigger the "forest" of spatial supports, side
keelsons and suspension elbow braces. Stowing of the cargo, therefore
became a considerable problem. Accordingly it was soon decided to use Iron
for elbows, beams and spatial supports. Due to the higher strength of the
material it was possible to save space, This nmethod was mainly applied in
Great Britain whilst the Americans continued to build their ships nearly
exclusively out of wood. As a result the American ships tended to be
somewhat larger than the British ones. Whilst the English built few wooden
ships over 1,000 t around the middle of the century, so many large wooden
ships were launched in America that the launching of a such ships were
hardly taken notice of. The largest and most sensational ship built in
America was the "Great Republic". She was originally designed for 4,555 t
but following a fire shortly after completion she was modified to provide a
tonnage of 3,357.
Many English shipbuilders bought ships from the United States or Canada
during the time of the boom around 1850.
The English dockyards had the advantage that they did not have to cater for
larger ships so that there was still a demand for their similar ships
during the subsequent depression.
Ships Made From Iron
As with any other technical innovation, iron needed some time to prevail on
the market as a material for shipbuilding, Iron had been used in wooden
vessels for supports, elbows and beams. Regarding the fully rigged iron
ships most shipowners were very scepical in the beginning. Moreover, the
manufacture of ships from iron required re-thinking and traditional wood
shipbuilders were not suited to the task. Accordingly the art of
shipbuilding was mainly developed by former mechanical engineers.
The advancement a of the iron ships proceeded slowly but irresistably
around 1850. More and more shipowners allowed themselves to be convinced
regarding the advantages of this novel construction method. The
shipbuilder Alexander Stephens Jr. described in 1858 the essential
advantages of an iron ship in listing the following five points:-
1. Prime cost lower than that of a ship made of wood of the same class.
2. In many ranges of voyages iron ships offered the advantage of ensuring
3. Considerably greater loading capacity.
5. Efficiency in maintenance. Elimination of high bills due to wood rot.
A great advantage was the increased loading capacity. Due to leaving out
of many supports and beams which were required to give strength to a wooden
ship more stowing room remained for the cargo. Also it was easier to stow
the cargo than in the tangle of wooden hull supports. The wall thickness
of a wooden ship were considerably thicker.
Estimates revealed that compared with a 500 t capacity of a wooden ship a
similar ship made of iron could carry 600 t.
A further considerable argument in favour of iron ships was their
stability. An iron hull could withstand greater stresses than a wooden
But iron ships had their disadvantages, too. Bilge water within the cargo
space caused corrosion. A layer of Portland cement or asphalt was needed
to prevent this. Difficulties with the ventilation of the cargo space
contaminated many a cargo in the early years.
A special problem was the deflection of the compass caused by the quantity
of iron in the hull. Only the endeavours of scientists would eventually
solve this problem.
An especially annoying and persistant problem was the fouling at the bottom
of the ship. The iron of the hull seemed to attract sea pocks. Often sea
pocks were removed by the tonne from the bottom of a ship in dry dock.
Excessive fouling reduced the speed of a ship by three to four knots. In
order to avoid this and to prevent more extensive damage an iron ship was
put into dry dock once or even twice a year so that the hull could be
scraped and provided with an anti-foul coat.
Due to the more easily attainable strength of the hull it was possible to
build larger ships. In the case of iron ships the length width ratio was
increased to 7:1. Although iron could never replace wood in the case of
the sailing ships, it finally made the breakthough in steamships from 1870
The Composite Clipper
An extremely unpleasant characteristic of the iron ships was as previously
pointed out the fouling of the hull. Especially in tropical waters the
iron skin was particularly badly affected. With wooden ships such fouling
was largely avoided by copper plate protection. From the year 1840 copper
was substituted by a copper zinc alloy which remained free of fouling for
up to ten years. Iron ships, however, could not be mounted with copper
since in salt water a galvanic corrosion occurs between iron and copper.
These difficulties resulted in the first trials of a composite construction
which was to combine the advantages of both construction methods.
The identity of the first composite ship can no longer be safely
established. In general the steamship "Assam" completed in India in 1839
was considered the first composite ship. During the course of the years
many patents existed in this field. Each shipbuilder had his own designs.
Such a ship consisted mainly of iron and only the outer planks were
manufactured of wood. The wooden planks were lined with copper or brass.
The bar keel was made from wood. A special skill was the fastening of the
wooden planks with copper rivets which were not allowed to be in contact
with the iron.
From 1860 onwards many excellent ships of this design were built such as
the "Taeping", the "Ariel", the "Sobraon", the "Thermopylae" and the "Cutty
Sark". In 1861 the Lloyds Register Committee even granted a higher
classification for composite ships which further contributed to their high
reputation. They were excellent ships but they did have one disadvantage.
They were so expensive to build that not every shipowner could to afford
them. Thus they remained much noticed and praised but they could not oust
either wooden or iron ships.
Shipyards and Shipbuilders
Shipbuilders and shipyards were as well-known in the 19th century as the
automotive manufacturers of today. Their products were noted and
discussed. One must not forget in this connection that for practically
every shipyard the main business consisted of the building of small ships
well below 1,000 tonnes. Although we tend to read today about the large
and fast sailing ships, the daily bread for each shipyard was earned by the
building of normal small ships for the average shipowner.
One of the most well known shipbuilders of his time was Donald McKay. His
shipyard in Boston produced above average many famous and successful ships.
McKay was not only a gifted shipbuilder but he was also one of the first to
introduce machinery such as steam-driven tilting saws and lathes. These
machines enabled him to reduce building time and keep his production costs
low. His ships were well-known and respected everywhere and they were sold
throughout the world. On the McKay shipyard the largest mainly wooden
construction ship "The Great Republic" was built.
Some of the best known ships of Donald McKay
were the following:-
STAGHOUND (1,534t),FLYINGCLOUD(1,728 t), SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS (2,421 t),
GREAT REPUBLIC (4,555 t and 3,357 t respectively), LIGHTING
(1,468t),JAMESBAlNES (2,275t), CHAMPION OF THE SEAS (1,947 t) and the
DONALD MCKAY (2,408 t).
Great Britain's most famous shipyard was that of Alexander Hall & Sons in
Aberdeen. In 1830 the brothers James and William Hall took over the firm
from their father. Their fame began with the building of the "Scottish
Maid" in the year 1839.
She was completed in 1866 and sailed the seas until 1941.
She was the first ship with the exemplary Aberdeen bow. The new hull shape
was to influence a whole generation of fast sailing ships. The ships of
this design were very fast and yielded tax advantages since the new
dimensioning ruling in 1836. During many drag tests with true-to-scale
models in large glass tanks the Hall brothers perfected their new hull
shape. The ships painted in the traditional "Aberdeen Green" enjoyed great
popularity all over the world. During the second half of the 19th.
century some of the best iron sailing ships also came from the Aberdeen
shipyard. Well- known ships from this dockyard were the
following:-STORNOWAY (527 t), CHRYSOLITE (440 t), CAIRNGORM (939 t),
SCHOMBERG (2,284 t), REINDEER (965 t) SOBRAON (2,131 BRT) and the CALYPSO
In the port of Galveston in Texas one can still admire to this day the only
intact sailing ship of the Hall brothers. This is the iron bark "Elissa"
with 430 BRT built in 1877.
This ship was restored at a cost of one million dollars and since 1982 has
been sailing the seas in its original condition.
It would be too difficult to mention here all good shipbuilders of the
19th. century. But one must not forget the Alexander Stephens & Sons
shipyard in Scotland. With the fully-rigged iron ship "Storm Cloud" a ship
was launched in 1854 which caught all eyes. She was built in accordance
with the plans of Alexander Stephens at the shipyards own risk. With a
long, sharp and concave bow she was practicaily the transposition of the
wave theory by Russell. In 1855 her sister ship "White Eagle" put to sea.
Another well known shipbuilder was William Rennie. He was co-owner of the
shipyard of Rennie, Johnson & Rankine in Liverpool Among his other ships
the "Sappho" (359 t) and the "Fiery Cross" (688 t) set speed records.
Despite these fast clippers the shipyard went bankrupt in 1855.
Some of the best clippers originated from the Robert Steele & Co.
shipyard. These tea clippers were built especially for the China voyages
and they achieved some of the fastest passages to and from China. They
offered the advantage of sailing quickly in light winds as well as in
strong ones. A tea race of "Taeping" against "Ariel" (both built by Robert
Steele) made history. The best ships from this dockyard were TAEPING (724
t), ARIEL (853 t), SIR LANCELOT (847 t) and TITANIA (880 t) all of which
were composite ships.
Fate of the Famous Ships
Ships and especially sailing ships, were credited with all possible and
impossible characteristics, but never was a ship regarded by sailors as an
inanimate object. Many stories about the proud sailing ships were told,
some true and others invented. Each ship had a special fate, often a
tragic one. Even though the ships themselves have disappeared long ago,
their stories and fame live on. The life stories of some well-known ships
are descibed in more detail as follows
The Flight around Cape Horn
In the year 1848 the whole of America was alarmed by the news "Gold in
California". Within a shortest possible time the gold fever seized
everybody in America. Numerous sections of the population of the East
coast dreamt of quick riches waiting for them on the West coast. The only
obstacle, however, was the journey to the West. Since the Journey over
land was not a practicable, this left only the sea voyage around Cape Horn.
At the time of the gold rush innumerable ships were built for the
transportation of people, equipment and provisions.
Such a voyage promised enormous profit and it was, therefore, small wonder
that the shipyards were almost unable to cope with the orders. For exactly
this purpouse the 1,783 t "Flying Cloud" was built in 1851 in the dockyard
of Donald McKay in Boston.
She put to sea on the 2nd, June 1851 at New York under Captain Josiah
Perkins Creesy. Heavy storms caused the ship problems. With fine weather
restored, she reached a run (the distance covered per day from midday to
midday ) of an incredible 325 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 18
knots. No other ship had sailed so fast up to that day. With the absolute
and unbeaten time of 89 days and 21 hours she put into the port of San
Fransisco under full sail. As the gold a diggers and the sailors, who also
wanted to try their luck in the gold fields were in a special hurry, the
sails were not reefed as usual upon entry in the harbour.
Some over-hasty people even jumped off board in order to avoid losing time.
The "Flying Cloud". then crossed the Pacific Ocean, took on a cargo of tea
in Canton and returned to New York as a proud record holder.
The Great Tea Race
The British had always been enthusiastic supporters of bets. This betting
passion was also practised on the tea clippers and enormous sums were
placed on certain ships. Generous premiums for the first cargo of tea of a
new season brought ashore were paid for by the tea merchants and sold at
especially high prices. Thus real tea races took place every year between
the fastest ships. The last and most well known tea race took place in
1866. Referred to in the history of shipping as the "Great Tea Race".
In May of this year 16 clippers were at anchor in Fu Tschou. Five of these
ships were classed as favourites for the imminent race, namely the four
times winner "Fiery Cross", the "Taeping", the "Serica", the "Taitsing" and
With great haste the first crates of tea were stowed away and on the 28th.
May the "Ariel" put to sea first with 1,108,000 pounds of tea aboard. It
was the bad luck of the ship that she had taken an unreliable pilot on
board. She, therefore, lost her lead and was overtaken by the "Fiery
Cross". During the crossing of the Equator "Fiery Cross", "Ariel" and
"Taeping" were equally placed even though they were out of sight of each
On the 5th. September "Ariel" and "Taeping" reached the coast of Southern
England almost at the same time. The "Fiery Cross" had already been
beaten. At Dungerness the "Ariel" was the first ship to ask for a pilot.
The captain of the "Taeping" was going to snatch away the pilot and only a
daring run in front of the bow on the pact of the "Ariel" prevented this.
But she was unlucky once again, this time with the tugboat which was to tow
her up the Thames. Helplessly the crew had to look on as the "Taeping"
went past. She reached the London dock a few minutes before "Ariel"
According to the rules however, the race was only then finished when the
last crate of tea was brought ashore. Tension was maintained. In the
meantime the price of tea had dropped sharply in London. Therefore the
owners of both ships agreed to share the premium before it was possibly
cancelled, and although the "Ariel" had unloaded her cargo first the
"Taeping" was declared the winner. During this year over ten million
pounds of tea were brought ashore within a few days. This caused the
prices to drop to such an extent that a regular tea race was never again
staged. However, the competitions of well-known ships for the fastest
voyage home were still held as before.
The "Thermopylae" was designed by Bernard Waymouth and built in the year
1868 in Aberdeen by Walter Hood & Co. She was a composite ship with a
length of 64 metres and 947 t. As an extreme clipper she reached a run of
348 nautical miles with a maximum speed of 26 knots. She was planned to be
used as a China clipper for tea passages.
On her maiden voyage she broke all records in all sections. She achieved
the voyage from Fu Tschou to London (the famous tea run) in 91 days though
the "Sir Lancelot" lowered this record two weeks later. On her voyages to
Australia she normally managed in 69 days and on her tea voyages she
reached an excellant average of 106.5 days. This made her a typical
example of the beautiful and efficient clippers of composite design.
In 1887 her masts were shortened and in 1892 she was re-rigged to serve as
a bark. After serving as a Portugnese training-ship she was sunk by a
The Last Witness - the "Cutty Sark"
It may safely be said that the best known clipper today is the "Cutty
Sark". She is also the only surviving clipper of the big time and tells
the story of the good old days of the sailing ships in her dry dock in
Greenwich. As an active ship she achieved the record, for her voyage from
Sydney to London in only 79 days.
She was built in 1869 as an extreme clipper with a length of 64 metres and
921 t. Towards the end of the second clipper boom she was one of the last
ships built for speed. Although she was never brilliant during the China
voyages her trips to Australia were still remarkably fast. In order to
reach full capacity, however, she still needed strong and constant winds.
In 1895 she was sold to Portugal and re named "Ferreira". Captain Dowman
bought her in 1922 and refurbished the rigging which had been altered. In
1954 she went into her own dry dock in Greenwich once again under her own
name "Cutty Sark" and she has been preserved as a national monument for
admiring future generations as the only surviving extreme clipper.
The Unlucky Giant
The steamer "Great Eastern" was to impress the world. Designed by the
famous Sir Isambard Kingdom Brunel this ship was ahead of its time by over
forty years. The building of this "Giant of the Seas" began in 1854 Her
length came to a ledgendary 211 metres. She had two paddle wheels with a
diameter of 17 metres and a 7.3 metre propellor at the stern. Five funnels
and six masts with a sail expanse of 5,400 square metres. Based on ten
watertight sections and a double bottom the ship was to be made unsinkable.
Indeed she never sank despite all the misfortune she suffered the only
thing the "Great Eastern" did not have was good luck.
Misfortune began when one day a riverter and an apprentice disappeared, The
workers believed that both had been encased in the double bottom by
accident where the riveting hammers drowned their cries for help. Their
request to open up the bottom once again was rejected for cost reasons.
From that time onward the ship was hounded by bad luck. The first
launching took three months.
All manner of things happened until in the end the giant floated on the
Thames. The first company were declared bankrupt because of increased iron
prices and the second was ruined by the cost of the fittings. The day
before the ship sailed Brunel collapsed with a stroke during a photographic
session. He died a week later at the age of 53. On the same day five
people died when a funnel exploded during the transfer trip. Besides
everything else the captain drowned when his boat capsized on the way to
the landing stage. Since such an accident before or during the maiden
voyage was a bad omen the reputation of a jinxed ship stuck to the "Great
Eastern". The third company also pulled out.
The famous shipowner Sir Samuel Cunard then took over the ship as the new
At last on the 16th June 1860 the "Great Eastern" started her maiden voyage
with only 38 paying passengers and a crew of 418 men aboard, not a
profitable undertaking. However, her arrival in New York was celebrated by
thousands of enthusiastic people. An outing was arranged and enormous
prices were charged but only 300 beds were available for the 2000
passengers. The outing was eventful with a burst pipe spoiling the
provisions and due to a navigational error the "Great Eastern" went badly
On the return voyage to England the series of mishaps continued. A drive
shaft broke down, two people drowned when "The Great Eastern" became
entangled with the hawser of a small ship and as a conclusion she also
rammed the "Blendheim". She crossed the North Atlantic for four years and
was involved in accidents again and again causing enormous repair costs.
In 1864 Cunard gave up as well and auctioned the ship off at a ridiculous
price which did not even cover cost of the last repair. She was converted
to a cable-laying ship for the first undersea cable from Europe to America,
but when special cable-laying vessels were built in 1874 she was sold
In 1888 she was finally scrapped with the aid of specially designed
tooling. To the horror of the workers the skeletons of the riveter and his
apprentice who had disappeared were, indeed found in the double bottom.
Everybody was now convinced that the dead were the reason for the lasting
bad luck of the "Great Eastern". It was not until 1899 that a larger ship
was built again.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF SHIPBUILDING
The layman often looks upon sailing ships as untidy vessels which are
burdened with useless ropes and undefinable rigging. In reality extremely
strict order prevails. Even the smallest part has its place and each
manual function has to be carried out in a certain manner. Only in this
way was it possible to carry out vital manoeuvres practically blind, in the
night or in heavy seas. Even on ships with dubious crews, order was
maintained since every sailor knew that his life could depend on such
order. He had to be able to rely on everything being in the proper place
in the same way that he relied on the man before him having fixed a rope
properly when he balanced at giddy heights above stormy seas. It was no
problem for the sailor to recognise and name the innumerable elements of a
sailing ship right off the bat. Also the non seafaring population of the
19th century was quite able to tell the difference between a bark and a
fully rigged ship. One could tell sailing ships apart in the same way as
nearly everybody can make a distinction between leading car makes nowadays
Life on Board
There is much to report on about life aboard a ship even though there are
not many authentic contemporary reports available. Additionally the
reports of that time are romantically coloured and exaggerate or understate
the dangers and joys of life aboard One has to bear in mind that shipping
in the 19th century and everything connected with it was very much in the
centre of public interest. Departure schedules were always issued and the
deeds of famous captains were constantly talked about.
Work on Mailships
Nowadays it is often presumed that the profession of a sailor required no
qualifications, but in actual fact it was a very demanding and
instructional profession in which one had to learn everything from scratch.
Captains especially, who in most cases started their career as ordinary
sailors, were extremely respected persons.
To work on mail ships men of special calibre were required. They had to
carry out hard work even in bad weather, put up with bad food and little
sleep and often suffer rough treatmnent from a strict captain.
To run a mail ship required two to three dozen such men. The crew was
responsible to the captain, the first coxswain and the second coxswain
Additionally a carpenter, a cook a boatswain, some cabin boys and one or
two stewards belonged to the crew. A capable sailor had to be well versed
in many a trade. He had to be able to handle sails, booms and ropes, forge
hooks and rings and work as a carpenter or weaver during repair jobs. The
sailors work, therefore, was in no way limited to setting and hauling down
The crew was split into two watches taking turns. In charge was always one
of the two coxswains. One sailor had to be at the helm at all times. In
stormy seas it was often necessary for two sailors to hold the rudder.
They had to brave the waves beating over board and sometimes they faced the
danger of being washed over board. The crows nest too, at the bow was
constantly manned. This was a pleasant job in fine weather but pure hell
in bad weather. Part of the crew was continually busy doing maintenance
work. To knock rust off the anchor was frequently a punishing job. The
most monotonous of all work, however, was the scrubbing of the deck. Every
morning this work was carried out at the commeucement of the morning watch
at 04.00 hours. It was considered to be a matter of honour to execute all
work without objections and grumbling. In order to ease frequent
monotonous work the sailors sang appropriate songs. For each activity
there was a rhythmic shanty which exactly sited the rhythm of the work and
was often over one hundred years old. Especially popular and respected
were the sailors who were able to incorporate in the words of the songs the
char- acteristics of individual crew members.
Normally the watch was relieved every four hours. In his leisure time
there was hardly any diversity for the sailor. When there was a storm the
rest period was often interrupted by the shout "All Men". In spite of
hardship and danger the sailors on mail ships earned very little. Since
most of them spent there money on alcohol and women, only few sailors
managed to provide for old age. Therefore, in most cases sailors ended up
as dossers in some seaport town.
Few were offered the possibility of promotion from sailor to coxswain.
Most officers on mail ships were ordinary sailors before. The second
coxswain could possibly be promoted to first coxswain, Usually such
promotion was effected at the age of thirty years. The first coxswain was
responsible for navigation and cargo. Beyond that he had to have a wide
all round knowledge in order to take the place of the captain in an
emergency. Approximately every third coxswain could hope to be given the
position of captain, but whoever was not a captain by the age of 35 years,
remained third coxswain and normally turned out to be a very strict
Old Salts of the Land
After months of hard work and having been cooped up on a ship, the sailors
craved for any kind of fun. One voyages pay was nearly always spent in one
day on alcohol and prostitutes. The seaport towns offered many
opportunities to spend money. Around the harbour the place was alive with
inns, cheap and nasty theatres and brothels.
Numerous public houses invited you to indulge in enormous drinking bouts.
The different entertainment places outbid each other in an attempt to
promote business with the sailors. It is mentioned in reports about a
famous Liverpool establishment that their patrons could inhale from
containers filled with laughing gas in order to get them into a euphoric
and generous mood after a few puffs.
Among the entertainment establishments there were the pawnbrokers shops
easily recognisable by three golden-coloured balls by the door. Often the
last pair of trousers were pawned here in order to obtain money for last
drink. Tattooing salons also offered their services. The sailors liked to
have their upper bodies and arms decorated with all imaginable pictures.
Especially popular was a big cross which was to take care of a Christian
burial in the event that the corpse was washed up on some heathen coast.
As soon as money ran short the pleasures came to a sudden end. Often the
insolvent sailors were handed over by the pub landlords to agents. When
once sober the sailor found himself on a strange ship putting to sea. The
landlord and the agent received a payment for this which was later deducted
from the sailors wages.
Most sailors failed to manage to provide for their old age. The purse
strings were far too loose during stays on land with alcohol, women and
pleasures too tempting. The sailors finished up as dossers in seaport
towns and often died on the street. With effect from 1833 a protective
haven was offered to sailors by the Sailors Snug harbour which provided a
chance for pleasant and Secure retirement. This Sailors home was founded
on Staten Island and it was financed with the estate left by the ship owner
John Randall. Its objective was to take care of old and needy sailors.
"They took me in because I am a cripple. They washed and shaved me and
gave me a room which was as clean as the captahis cabin on a warship and
they said' Here you will be well and safely looked after for good!". Thus
wrote a sailor in his memoirs who found refuge in Snug Harbour.
The destitute sailors were accommodated in comfortable rooms and provided
with good food. A doctor and a nurse looked after their physical well
being. With different kinds of work the sailors were able to earn some
welcome pocket money. Alcohol was absolutely taboo for the residents
inside and outside the home. Violation of this rule was punished with the
withdrawal of the chance to work, house arrest or smoking ban. There was a
similar punishment for non- attendance of church services. Most people
accepted their obligations willingly since it secured for them a protected
and pleasant retirement.
The Life of the Captains
As no other, the profession of a captain was surrounded by romantic charm
during the 19th. century. The representatives of this profession enjoyed
a high social prestige and associated with well situated circles. It was
quite customary to invite captains to social gatherings of the so- called
high society. For especially fast crossings or other achievements, the
captains as well as their ships received praise in the newspapers. Many
people sought out their company and some passenger planned their voyage in
such a way that they could be at sea with their favourite captain.
The captains of mail ships led a pleasant and luxurious life on land. Many
of them were the owners of magnificent mansions and they stayed at elegant
Even their attire displayed a certain elegance. The mail ship captains
earned especially good money as they shared in the considerable profit.
For example they received prime money amounting to 5 % approx of the
freight charges as well as 25 % of the fares of the passengers. Some
captains even received the whole charge of mail consignments. It was
customary on many ships to place at the captains disposal a small part of
the cargo space to enable him to conduct his own business. Therefore,
their earnings were often thirty times as much as those of a sailor.
But such money has to be well-earned in the first place. Although the
captain could delegate such tasks to his coxswains, the responsibility was
always his. In order to adhere to sailing times or to break the reeords of
other ships and captains, each bit of sail had to be raised. In doing so
the ship was not to be seriously damaged. Frequently daring decisions were
called for which verged on the narrow edge between irresponsibility and the
pleasure in taking risks. The necessity to get the ship ahead all of the
time was such an ordeal for mail ships' captains that hardly any captain
stood the pace of transatlantic routes longer than five years. Upon the
first signs of a drop in performance a captain would be dismissed by the
shipowner. Therefore, many captains left voluntarily before it came to
this. If savings sufficed, a captain could go into retirement.
Many captains took on new activities such as ships inspector for insurance
companies or advisor to shipbuilders.
Captain H. Marshall was the proverbial exception to the five year rule.
The gruff and cantankerous captain spent altogether 27 years at sea and he
was a mail ship captain for 12 years. He was born in the son of an old
whaler family Nantucket. At the age of 24 year he was already appointed as
captain of the 350 t ship "Julius Caesar ". During his course of duty he
distinguished himself as a great go getter. In 1822 he commenced duty as a
mail captain with the Black Ball Line. In 1834 he acquired the major
portion of shares within the company, settled in New York and managed the
business from there. He was a famous example of how far a captain could
Another famous captain was Samuel Samuels. So many passengers wanted to
sail with this infamous man that tickets for his ship had to be booked a
season in advance. With his 1,400 ton luxury mail ship "Dreadnought" he
sailed the transatlantic route
Samuels made the shipping agents a unique offer. He was so convinced of
being able to adhere to the running times that he offered to pay back the
freight charges in case the cargo was not delivered on time. Supposedly he
never faced the embarrassing situation of having to fulfill his offer.
Sailors often rumoured that Captain Samuels probably knew a secret route
between New York and Liverpool.
Another famous captain was Nathaniel Brown Palmer affection- ately known as
Captain Nat. The man from Connecticut went to sea for the first time when
he was 14 years old and he became captain of the mail ship "Garrick" at the
age of 38. Furthurmore he was a partner of the Dramatic Line which owned
this ship. When in the harbour of New York he liked to display his
Whilst all the other ships arranged for the putting into and leaving the
port to be made easier by using tug boats, he insisted on sticking to the
old method of sailing into and out of the harbour under his own power with
great public interest. In 1840 he managed the crossing from Liverpool to
New York in only 15 days with the "Siddon". This record was never broken
by another mail ship.
Travel in The Luxury Class
Cabin passengers could expect the sort of luxury on their travels which
compared with the better hotels. So reports an enthusiastic journalist in
1843 after inspecting a mail ship's facilities. No salon or boudoir on
land displays better white and gold colours, as in the time of Ludwig XIV
or XV, the dining room of the "Marco Polo" as follows:- "The ceiling is
panelled with maple wood and the square support columns are encased with
decorated and silver-plated glass on which coins from different countries
represent a novelty".
Both the furnishings and the meals were lush and extravagant. According to
a contemporary report the breakfast served at nine o'clock consisted of
"Black tea, coffee, biscuits, fish, chicken, lamb and eggs". Lunch
consisted of a large selection of cold meats. The main meal was served at
four o'clock in the afternoon and often lasted hours.
On the menu were "Soups, fresh lamb, beef, pork and sometimes veal,
chicken, bacon, plum pudding, preserves and cakes". For desert different
nuts and frits were served and drinks such included Madeira, Port and
Bordeaux, Frequently real champagne was put onto the table. On some ships
dinner was served again at seven o'clock. In the period between meals,
which must have been short for some passengers, there were different ways
to pass the time. A popular pastime was chasing rats and also shooting at
bottles with rifles or pistols. Sometimes daring passengers, would jump
overboard and swim around the ship. On some ships there were even
orchestras, Then of course there were popular games such as draughts,
dominoes, chess, backgammon, whist and poker. At that time the custom of
placing bets on the number of kilometres sailed per day was also
introduced. If famous actors were on board, for instance Tyrone Power who
crossed the Atlantic often, private performances contributed to the
entertainment of the passengers. The fun and the pleasure was spoiled only
during dead calm or storm.
In such situations the sea voyage could be torture for even cabin
Pilot on Board
On the open sea countless dangers lurked for the ship. But these dangers
were not over when approaching a port. Entering port represented an
obstacle run between shifting sandbanks and changing currents with the
constant risk of running aground. Especially demanding for the captains
was the port of New York, a distance of 25 miles from the fireship Sandy
Hook to the piers on the East river. Therefore, most captains made use of
a harbour pilot to ensure safe entry. These pilots knew everything about
shallows and currents. They managed to cope well with the often
temperamental winds and they could tell a sandbank which had shifted after
a storm by slight changes in the colour of the water. Correspondingly
their judgment was highly appreciated. With the subtle intuition they knew
how to guide the ships entrusted to them safely into the harbour.
With effect from 1837 the New York Harbour Authority made it compulsory for
ships to take a pilot aboard prior to entering New York harbour and imposed
a fine on every captain who entered without one.
As soon as the fireship "Sandy Hook" was sighted the captain called for a
pilot by using flare signals. With up to eighteen pilot boats continuously
cruising off the coast, three to four boats would immediately set course
for the ship wishing to be put into port. Races often took place as the
pilot who reached the ship first was always awarded with the assignment.
Depending on the size of the ship, the pilot demanded 20 to 25 dollars for
his work. Many pilots brought along the latest newspapers, fresh laundry
for the captain and also freshly caught fish The pilots did not take
command of the ship, but the captain based his instructions on the advice
of the pilot. Slowly but surely they then proceeded in the direction of
the port. The pilots did not attach any importance to speed as their
reputation depended only on how safely they guided their ships into port.
A voyage from Sandy Hook to the harbour normally lasted 24 hours but it
could take days or even weeks in storms.
Catastrophes at Sea
Mail ships were very much endangered at sea. This was not because they
were built badly, but because the captains often had to take, risks in
order to adhere to the running times For a mail ship, bad weather was not a
reason to heave to, or to delay the start the voyage
On the 1st April 1822 the 434 ton mail ship the "Albion" left the port of
New York. She was a robustly built and well-proved ship serving the Black
Ball line, sailing under the command of Captain John Williams. He was 37
years old and at the height of his career. He was the unofficial commodore
on the Black Ball fleet. Within the excellent time of 21 days the ship
reached the Irish coast in pleasant weather But then the visibility
deteriorated and white squalls appeared. Towards the evening the storm
changed to hurricane conditions and the ship was seized by a huge wave and
slung to the side. Many passengers were injured and the main mast, the top
of the mizzen mast and the front of the Marsstenge broke off. The
lifeboats, the deckhouse, quarterdeck equipment, compasses and all axes
were washed overboard. Six crew members and passengers were swept into the
sea. Without the rudder the ship was no longer controllerble and was
carried by the waves. At about one o`clock in the morning the end was in
sight. The captain declared the ship lost. The first coxswain said later:
"At that moment our situation was undescribable. I dare not think of the
horror nor do I want to tell the details".
At three o`clock in the morning the "Albion" crashed against some rocks on
the shore. The ship broke apart, the captain was swept overboard and came
to an end in gale-lashed sea.
Only a few people managed to escape to the cliffs where they held on for
dear life. It was only after several hours that the storm abated and some
helpers managed to free the survivors from their precarious situation with
the aid of ropes.
The seas proved their power in other ways, too. Some ships for instance
disappeared without trace on high seas. In November 1844 the 650 t "United
States" and a week later the 729 t "England" left Liverpool harbour.
Although both ships were considered reliable they never arrived in New
York, their destination. On the 7th. March 1845 they were finally listed
On the 24th August 1848 the 1,301 t "Ocean Monarch" put to sea from
Liverpool. There were large quantities of cargo and nearly 400 passengers
on board. Still in the channel the ship met with the 1,404 t "New World".
A race between both ships was imminent. But round about lunchtime a fire
broke out in the rear section of the ship. Within a short time the entire
aft the rear of the ship was burning. All attempts to extinguish the fire
achieved nothing. Two boats could be lowered into the water and the first
coxswain, some crew members and some passengers were able to save
themselves. The other boats burned before they could be lowered But it was
a blessing in disguise that the "Ocean Monarch" was still close to shore
where many ships were about. The life boats of these ships fished the
survivors out of the water. The ship was completely destroyed by fire.
Nearly half the passengers and crew lost their lives, but the reminder were
In most cases the insufficient number of life boats was responsible for the
tragic outcome of many a disaster at sea. If one had secured a much sought
after place in the boat, this did not mean ultimate safety. The boats were
often overloaded and liable to sink. Often macabre fights developed in a
boat promising salvation. Especially horrible is the story of a life boat
on the "William Brown" which collided with an iceberg in June 1841. The
life boat, over which coxswain Alexander Holmes had taken command was
hopelessly overloaded. Holmes ordered the crew to throw sixteen passengers
overboard. The first to go over- board was a man called Frank Carr.
Despite his fervent pleas to have mercy on him, he was thrown into the sea.
Horrified, his youngest sister Mary called: "If you throw him out, throw
me out as well. I want to die in the same way as my brother. Please do
not separate me from my brother." Promptly she was taken at her words and
also thrown overboard without hesitation, together with another sister. A
little later the life boat was sighted by a ship and the passengers were
taken aboard. The witness accounts of the surviving and horrified
passengers later led to the conviction of Holmes for manslaughter
The Lifeboat Pioneer
Life boats were not built to withstand rough handling. Many were wrecked
during hectic lowering onto the water. Furthermore, they were not
seaworthy on stormy waters. They keeled over easily and high waves the
boats to sink quickly.
Joseph Francis from Boston dedicated his life to the improvement of life
boats. At the age of eighteen he won a prize for designing an unsinkable
rowing boat, the bow and the stern of which were filled with cork.
He went to New York to find buyers for his invention and to continue his
work on better life boats. Up to 1837 his success was very modest but in
that year he introduced his newest invention to the public and the press in
a spectacular way. His new boat had cork chambers at the bow and the stern
and also additional air chambers made from copper at the sides and
underneath the benches. On the sides lifelines made it possible for up to
40 persons to hang onto the boat. The boat was turned around and the water
drained away quickly through the perforated bottom. Attempts to sink the
boat failed. Following this demonstration and other similar and successful
ones, Francis was able to look forward to a secure future. Already in 1840
it was compulsory for all American warships to have Francis' life boats
aboard. During the following years he perfected his life boat by
substituting metal for wood.
His next invention was a recovery vehicle. It was to facilitate the saving
of passengers from ships aground close to a coast. To date it was often
not possible to reach these ships from the shore since the rescue boats
would have been destroyed in the stormy surf
The new rescue vessel was an enclosed metal boat with space for up to five
persons. By means of a hawser harpooned from the shore to the ship the
vessel was securely pulled along above the raging sea.
The Pioneer of Steam Shipping
In the first years of mail boat shipping it was taken into consideration as
to whether steamships could fulfil their task in a better and more rational
way. They were of course largely independent from the wind and it was
widely believed that their machines would not withstand the stresses of
such a voyage.
Junius Smith believed in steam ships and wanted to open a steam ship line
across the Atlantic. He travelled across to New York in order to find
financial backers for his undertaking. Greatly disappointed, by the
unwillingness of New York financiers to take risks, he returned to London.
In the end he found financial backers for his project. Subsequently he
founded, in 1835, the British and Ameriean Steam Navigation Company. The
first ship was completed in 1838. She was the 1,850 t "British Queen".
But competition was not napping either. The great Western Steamship
Company founded one year later also planned a crossing of the Atlantic with
the "Great Western", Smith had to charter the small steamship "Sirius"
which arrived in New York on the 23rd April 1838 as the first ship having
crossed the Atlantic with steam drive only.
She arrived barely eight hours before the "Great Western"
Thereafter the "British Queen" sailed on the London-New York route. For
her voyage to the West she took 16 days on average and in the other
direction two days less.
Many sailing ships took twice as long for this run. The greatest coupe of
junius Smith was the commissioning of the "President" in 1840 With 2,866 t
she was the biggest and proudest ship. Subsequently Junius Smith the
daring innovator, was showered with honours Rumour had it that he was even
to be knighted.
But in 1871 the "President" sunk. All 136 crew members and passengers
died. Among the passengers were such famous persons as the Irish actor
Tyrone Power. This disaster in shipping occurred and not on the seas. On
the 16th December 1835 a fire broke out in the business quarter of
Manhattan. Starting in a warehouse a devastating fire developed. Due too
strong winds the fire spread rapidly. Additionally the hydrants were
frozen so that the fire brigade had to look on almost helplessly. Most
captains suceeded in taking their ships to the open sea before the flames
reached the pier. Only few ships caught fire.
On land the owners of warehouses had to look on as their properties were
consumed by fire. There was unimag inable chaos. Within 24 hours 674
buildings were destroyed. It was only on the next day that the fire would
be brought under control.
THE HANDBOOK FOR THE SUCCESFUL SHIPOWNER
Operations From 1869
Sucess of course does not come about by itself. A ship owner of the last
century had to be well informed in many areas. Not only the knowledge
about the secrets of trading ensure success but also an excellent knowledge
in the field of shipbuilding, types of ships, running a ship, nautical
science, readiness to take risks, and last but not least being informed
about the political and economical situation of the world were absolutely
essential for the running of a shipping firm.
As 1869 includes true historic events, it is important to spend one or two
hours of your leisure time reading this handbook. In so doing you will be
able to appreciate the finer points of 1869 and give you a competitive edge
over rival "shipowners". For example at the time of the American Civil War
your competitors may be trying unsuccessfully to buy cotton in Savannah,
you may have long seen the signs of the times and ordered your merchant
fleet to go to more profitable and safe ports.
In 1869, as in life generally, "Knowledge is Power"
The PC version cannot be played from floppy disk. 2.4 MB are required to
be free on the hard disk.
For installing purposes please insert the disk in a disk drive. Now start
the installation program INSTALL. BAT. from that drive.
During the installation you are given the possibility of entering another
index path. As a standard 1869 is installed on hard disk C in directory C:
Disk A is in disk drive A and 1869 is to be installed on hard disk C.
- Enter A:/INSTALL
- Upon the question for the desired installation path press
- Insert disk B on request.
Start the game with the following entry:-
If you wish to play 1869 from the disk, insert disk A in the disk drive.
Now switch on your computer or call from the workbench the 1869 Icon by
You may also install 1869 on the hard disk. For this purpose call
INSTALL-ICON from your workbench. For the start of the game call 1869-Icon
from the work bench.
Start of the Game
Upon the start of the game you have the following possibilities regarding
selection and entry:
You can select whether you wish to play with the mouse or via the keyboard.
(Mouse operation is recommended).
New or Old Game
If you begin a new game, press the space bar. In order to load an old
game. press J. You can then select the game from previously stored games.
Number of Players
Enter the number of players. Up to four players may take part
Name of player
Here you can enter your name. You will also be addressed by this name by
the layers coming up in the game. It goes without saying that such
pseudonyms as Captn. Hook are also permissible.
In order to ensure that you are correctly addressed by merchants, dockyard
owners and bank directors you should state your sex here.
Name of Firm
Now you should give your rapidly flourishing and growing firm an attractive
Location of Firm
Select where the principal town of your firm is to be. In this town you
will have your company office and also your first store. Each of the five
towns for selection have their advantages and disadvantages which will
become evident as you progress.
When all players have completed their details you will be asked whether all
details are to your satisfaction. If this is so, then there is nothing in
the way to begin a thrilling and entertaining game.
The Ship Auction
For more than one player 1869 begins with a ship auction. Many favourable
bargains can be had here, but care is needed as many a player has ruined
himself at the start by aggressive over-bidding.
A ship is called up by the auctioneer at a minimum price. Each player can
now participate in bidding by clicking his players name. Thereby the offer
increases by fixed values. The name of the player offering the most at
this time is displayed. If there is no more bidding for a certain time,
then the highest bidder receives the addition.
The auction can be speeded up with the ESC key. The highest bidder will
receive the addition immediately and the auctioneer continues with the next
ship. If there are no bids for a ship then there is no sale.
An auction also takes place when a player has ordered a ship but is unable
to make payment. The completely built ship which has not been paid for is
released by the shipyard for auction. Some time before the date of the
auction each player receives notification enabling him to be at the
location of the auction in time.
You may only participate in an auction if you are present at the location
of the auction either on a ship or in a branch office ensuring of course
that on this ship or in this branch office sufficient funds are available.
Auctions prove again and again to offer a popular opportunity to acquire
cheap and good ships.
Fast Entry for the Impatient
Successful shipowners distinguish themselves by showing patience, control,
and readiness to take risks and the instinct to know the right moment for
action. However, for the very impatient player we have a few tips for a
quick entry to the game.
First go to the shipyard and buy a second hand ship. When the ship is
yours, go to the tavern, not to drink of course, but to hire a Crew for the
ship. The landlord of the tavern is pleased to give assistance. The
quality of the crew should match the quality of the ship. It takes a few
days for the landlord to drum up the crew. In the meantime you may take
money from the warehouse to the ship since merchandise always has to be
paid for on the spot. Since it is not your intention to go on pleasure
trips you are urgently advised to call at the office in order to purchase
goods. Only with a relevant cargo in the ships hold does she become a
Do not go on excessively long voyages to start with. Call only at safe
ports and trade merely with safe goods. Your ship should always be fully
loaded since half filled ships can ruin a company in a short period of
In the single-player mode it is the aim of your game to be included in the
"List of the Best" after a certain number of years. In the multi- player
mode there is the possibility of a "knockout" victory if all competitors
have been eliminated. Winning can also be defined as the player who has
the strongest company after the end of playing time.
The main chart is the central control element of the trading simulation in
1869. From here you manage your world-spanning company, direct ships and
enlarge your trade empire,
By simply clicking on sections of the chart you get comfortably and quickly
into the individual action screens. The chart consists of a large main
field which depicts one of the four continents of the world and different
control parts, the importance of which are explained in the following.
Name of Firm
This is the name of the active firm which is taking its turn during the
present move of the game.
The actual date may be taken from this calendar.
Clicking the calendar finishes one's current move. With only one player
participation, the calendar flicks to the next event. When there are
several players the next players move in turn. When all players have
completed their moves, the calendar goes on to the next event. Now it is
the turn of the player whom the occurring event concerns. Subsequently all
the other players may participate in the game.
There are the following events:- A ship has put into harbour, a ship has
been completely rebuilt or repaired, a hired crew has come aboard or a crew
is completely rested after a break in the harbour.
If one clicks the ship with the left mouse key one enters the ship dispatch
If one clicks the ship with the right mouse key the ship status screen
appears with the information and sets possibilities with regard to the
condition of the ship, cargo and crew.
Actual Capital in Cash
Here you see at a glance how much actual cash is at your disposal
currently. This includes all cash in branch offices and on ships, Each
player begins with a capital of $7,000.
By clicking the relevant continent the view in the main field changes to
that desired continent.
There are four continents, namely North America/South America, Europe/North
Africa, Africa/ South Asia and Asia/Austrailia. The views overlap a little
to permit optimum operations.
By clicking the symbol you can enter the Bank and take out new loans or
extend existing ones.
Clicking this symbol leads to a memorial tablet on which the eternal
records of crossings are retained. It is the dream of every captain and
shipowner of course to see the name of his ship on this tablet.
This is an extensive listing of the firms expenditure. It offers a means
of drawing comparisons between individual firms.
Here you are given the possibility to load or store positions in the game,
to switch on or off messages and to end the game.
This symbol indicates a ship lying in the port which is available.
If one has a branch office or head office in the port the relevant port
symbol is indicated by a flag.
If there is no ship of one's own, branch office or head office in the port
clicking of this symbol causes a view of the port to appear as well as the
information window showing the name of the current town, its main export
goods and the political state of the country.
By clicking on a port, with the mouse, where you have either a ship or a
branch office, you get to the office.
If click such a port with the right mouse key, a symbol listing appears
with up to four possibilities of selection.
The information panel belonging to the port appears.
Enables you to visit the tavern in the port where one can hire crews and
also pick up some useful tips
This symbol leads to the shipyard. The symbol only appears in the case of
ports with a shipyard.
Allows you to go to the store or the head office. The symbol appears only
in the case of ports where you have a warehouse or head office.
With 1869 you need not make any entries via the keyboard. All actions,
dialogues and transactions can be made using the mouse. During the course
of the game you conduct discussions and negotiations with different
persons. You may select from a number of sentences that which suits your
taste and intentions. This means of communication applies throughout the
On some occasions the dialogue concerns amounts of money or quantities of
goods. Such sentences always begin with three dots (for instance "How much
would 200 crates of textiles cost me" ) Here you adjust the quantity or the
amount by clicking. If you click such a sentence with the left mouse key,
the set quantity or amount is increased. By clicking with the right mouse
key the quantity or the amount is reduced. Therefore, the rule is always:
Quantities or amounts are increased with the left mouse key and reduced
with the right mouse key.
In order to confirm purchases, sales or other transactions you always
select a sentence beginning with "OK". For instance if you wish to confirm
a purchase you click the sentence, "OK load everything." The set quantity
of goods will then be taken to the ship and the purchasing price will be
If you have several sources of money in a port (for instance a ship and a
warehouse,) you can enter the money source from which the money is to be
debited with the following sentence: "I have $3000 at my disposal in the
Here again the following rule applies: up with the left mouse button and
down with the right button.
Since this kind of operation remains constant throughout the game you
quickly become competant in the games methodology.
Your first steps in the game should take you to a shipyard except if you
have already bought a ship at the auction. At the shipyard you can
purchase a second hand ship or order a new ship. Remember, second hand
ships are somewhat cheaper than new ones and your budget is not very high
at the beginning. Even if the idea of a new ship seems attractive you
should take into consideration that you have to purchase goods, hire a crew
and that your competitors may already be making a profit during your
waiting time by using a second hand ship with a shorter delivery.
Ships can also be repaired in the shipyard. Depending on necessity
barnacle growth can be removed from the hull (scraping), the hull can be
painted and sealed, the rigging or steam engine overhauled and the ship
generally serviced this being the most expensive option. Depending on the
extent of repair work this will take a few days. During a repair the ship
is not at your disposal and the relevant ship symbol disappears. Also only
ships without cargo may be taken in for repair.
If you wish to buy a second hand ship or choose to have a new ship built
you can select the desired ship from the model catalogue. Second hand
ships must be fully paid for immediately in cash and they will be placed at
your disposal after four days.
For a new ship a down payment of 25% of the purchase price is due
The remainding 75% of the purchase price can be paid to the shipyard at any
time prior to completion of building. If the total purchase price is not
paid by the completion date, weekly interest will be charged. In this
instance caution should be exercised as the ship is released by the
shipyard for auction if the interest exceeds the down payment made.
However, up to the date of the auction the original purchaser is offered
the possibility at any time to pay the outstanding amount.
When buying new ships you can trade-in your old ships. If you finds that
the sales price for an old ship is higher than the cost of the new ship,
then the ship yard will pay the excess into the next available money
source. If there is a warehouse in the town it is paid into that,
otherwise it goes to a ship.
If one has selected a new ship, she can be formally named. A heraldic
figure appears on the screen in which you can enter the name of the ship.
The first letter of the name must not be a zero symbol. If you press the
ENTER key without naming the ship the purchasing procedure is called off.
If the name has been entered the down payment is required to be made at the
office immediately. But it is also possible to withdraw from the purchase
at the office.
A ship which is no longer required can be sold to the shipyard. However,
this can only be done when there is a second ship in the port or a new ship
ordered from the shipyard.
In addition to large and famous shipyards there are also some smaller
shipyards. Some of these only carry out repairs or offer smaller types of
ship. You can also sell ships to these yards. These are kept on the books
as second-hand vessels for a period, after which they are scrapped. As
happens so often in life, repairs at the smaller shipyards are often
cheaper than the big and well-known dockyards which are over- burdened with
In The Tavern
As a respectable shipowner, one does not visit the tavern, to drink grog.
With business in mind you can hire a ships crew from the landlord. This
means that if you have the choice you also have the worry. The question is
should you hire top people with correspondingly high wage requirements or a
normal crew or even a low-paid crew who mix up port and starboard? The
scope is wide and this is where your instinct comes in. Generally the
motto "The right crew for the right ship" applies. Even a top crew cannot
perform miracles with a ship that is half-wrecked and a lot of landlubbers
will not achieve record times even with the proudest clipper. But do make
sure that you are able to afford the monthly wages as without pay even the
most reliable crew will revert to mutiny.
By clicking the desired crew with the right mouse key the confirmation
sentence "OK, I take the people" appears on the screen. By selecting this
sentence you are hiring the crew. The landlord will then inform you in how
many days the new crew will arrive on your ship.
The landlord also provides information regarding the cost of a branch
office in this port. If you wish to open a new branch office you may do
this here and now.
Additionally you can transfer money in the tavern from one ship to another.
For this purpose you select first the source ship and then the receiving
ship, enter the relevant amount and confirm as follows:- "OK, I will send
the money to the..".
Since many people from all over the world call into port taverns and as
alcohol makes people very talkative a lot of useful information comes to
the landlords ears. For a round of beers he might perhaps let out some
secrets to you.
Branch Offices and Head Office
In the town which you select as your starting point at the beginning of the
game the head office of your firm is located. The head office and possibly
further branch offices are marked on the main chart by a flag.
At the head ofice or the branch offices goods can be stored and then loaded
onto a ship. Money can be transferred from a ship to the warehouse and
The appearance of head office, depends on the value of a company. The
bigger the firm the more sumptuous the head office, but unfortuately the
same applies the other way around. The head office of a company can
neither be moved nor closed.
You may establish branch offices in any, port. However, a warehouse also
swallows up running costs. The costs of establishing a branch office are
dependant on the chosen location. At stragically important points
establishing and maintaining a warehouse is very expensive in most cases.
But a warehouse offers the advantage that one is always informed of the
kind and price of the offered and required goods in the relevant port.
Every warehouse with the exception of head office can be closed down as
At the beginning of the game one should proceed with caution when
considering the opening of new branches as the costs of them are high.
Consider the location of a new warehouse very carefully and observe the
cost/ yield factor.
Selling and Purchasing in the Office
Since it is certain that you are not sending your mercantile fleet across
the oceans of the world for the fun of it, you should visit the office
frequently. This is the place of transshipment of goods in a port and here
all purchases and sales of goods are dealt with.
You will see on the board which goods are required or offered by the
dealer. The price either which he demands or offers will vary as not every
dealer pays the same for goods and a comparison is always worthwhile. For
urgently required merchandise a high additional premium is often offered.
On the other hand it can happen that a dealer does not need a full ship's.
cargo of a certain kind of goods. This happens regularly in smaller ports.
When you offer a dealer goods he will first tell you the required quantity
and the possible premium. This quantity is automatically entered with the
sentence "How much do you pay for.....?" If you enter the sentence "OK I
will sell the goods" without changing the quantity, then you sell the
dealer the quantity he requires and for which he may pay the premium. Of
course one can also sell to him the rest as long as he offers a reasonable
Generally you can sell anything to a dealer. He will, however, pay a
minimum price for non required goods which is below the cost price in most
cases. If possible you should avoid such loss-making business.
You can also purchase goods from the dealer, but only the merchandise that
he has on offer. If you have several ships or one warehouse in the port
you can select where the goods are to be delivered to. The dealer always
offers the quantity of goods first which corresponds to the maximum loading
capacity of the ship or to have maximum available capital. Naturally one
can buy less. If you do not have enough money on the ship for the desired
goods you can also pay for these from a second ship in the port or from a
warehouse in this town, in some offices notes are displayed on the counter.
If you click any such note you will receive special orders or passenger
conveyance. Some of the special orders are very favourable but they also
entail great risks (For instance: supply of arms to countries at war)
If you have a ship fitted with cabins you may convey passengers. In this
case 1a group of passengers may want to be taken to a certain port. These
people will disembark only in the port of destination. Since costs will be
incurred for supplying food for passengers, you should not arrange any
sightseeing tours but head for the port of destination as quickly as
Once the ship has been loaded you should send her to the port of
destination. But what is the good of the most valuable cargo if it cannot
be sold. In order to send a ship to a definite port you have to enter the
ship dispatch mode. For this purpose you click the large ship on the main
chart by using the left mouse key
The ship selection menu appears giving you the names of your ships as well
as the status symbol, the location and technicai conditions.
The status symbols provide information regarding the avability of the ship
Their meaning is as follows:
Ship under sail: Ship is available
Hammer: Ship is being repaired
Ship's hull: Ship is being built
Wave: Ship is in transit
Men with question mark: No crew on board
Men with luggage: New crew still to come
Only available ships may be selected The names of non-available ships
always appear in the selection menu in red print. When you have selected
the desired ship a wild rose is shown instead of the usual mouse indicator
(dispatch indicator) and the departure port is indicated by a rotating
square. Additionally the navigation points can be seen. All selected
ports and navigation points are always marked with a rotating yellow
rectangle. Two of the sea navigation points are put on the land within the
chart, namely the navigation point at Cape Horn and the Suez Canal.
Dispatch indicator (click with upper left hand corner)
Navigation Point (not marked)
Selected Navigation Point
Selected Port or Port of Departure
If you click the port of destination by means of the left mouse key the
temporary navigation points are selected simultaneously they are
recognisable by yellow rotating markings. In the case of some routes it
may happen that other ports are also marked. These ports serve as
navigation points only as the ship will not put into port. By clicking the
port of destination with the right mouse key you confirm the course and
send the ship on her way. If a ship is on route she cannot be manipulated
until she arrives at the port of destination.
The automatically set route, however will not always be the most favourable
one. With the aid of weather and flow charts you will be able to make a
decision regarding a better route. By clicking the last valid route point
with the left mouse key all following points are cancelled. You can now
enter all desired route points individually. Please take note that a
longer route with more favourable current is better than a short route with
a strong counter current.
Steamships have a limited range since they have to refill the coal bunkers
during the voyage. Therefore, you can only map out their route within
relevant reach. On the other hand steamships are largely independent wind
and dead calms and they are also some what faster than sailing ships.
When planning the route always take into consideration the weather and
current charts as well as the seasons. Excessively long voyages cause
reduction of the freight rates.
Furthermore, you should reckon with the possibility that your ship may get
into a heavy storm resulting in serious damage or in the worst case she may
The extent of damage is shown in detail on the ship's status and the
dispatch menu in the form of a percentage.
You must check on the condition of your ships regularly. Damaged ships
result in unsatisfactory crossing times with correspondingly bad freight
rates. In the case of iron ships you should check for barnacle growth
regularly as excessive growth considerably slows down a ship. It is also
recommended to arrange for a ship to be overhauled at a shipyard from time
to time. The costs incurred are in most cases compensated by freight rates
increasing afterwards. Do not attempt to save money unwisely.
You access the ship's status by clicking the large ship in the main chart
with the left mouse key. Thus you can inform yourself of the technical
state and you can also control and manipulate the crew.
On the ship's status screen you will find information regarding the cargo
and the cash carried on the ship. Furthermore. you will be informed about
the current location of the ship. By clicking the ship hull you can access
all your ships.
Check your cash flow at regular intervals. For planned purchases there
must always be sufficicnt money in the ship's cash account if for instance
you want to buy goods in Bombay, the money in the Liverpool head office
does not help. Goods always have to be paid for from a ship or warehouse
in the port where the purchase is effected.
But you must also avoid leaving too much money on a ship. The ship may
sink in a storm and then money would be lost. It is therefore recommend to
transfer the excess cash of profit-yielding ships from time to time to a
branch office or to head office. It is also possible in the tavern to
transfer the excess money to another ship.
In order to obtain exact information regarding the technical condition of a
ship click the state key. You will receive detailed information regarding
barnacle growth, the taking on of water, condition of rigging or steam
engine etc. You should take special notice of this information before
planning repair work. It does not make sense for example to generally
overhaul an otherwise completely intact ship with barnacle growth. A
cheaper and quicker scraping job would suffice in this case.
You access the crew status by clicking the crew key of the ship status
screen. Thereby you can check and manipulate the crew of each ship,
however the latter is only possible when a ship is at disposal.
Each ship has her own crew with their condition. ability and motivation
directly affecting the ship's condition and speed. Within the crew control
field you can obtain information regarding the vitality and experience as
well as motivation of the crew. Furthermore, you can enter the amount of
wages, alter the captains order and forecast a success premium.
A bar chart provides information indicating the vitality and experience of
a crew. The upper bar identifies the vitality and the lower bar refers to
experience. The longer the bar the more rested or experienced the crew
The more vitality a crew has the better it performs. Caution! A badly
exhausted crew may get the idea of putting an end to their suffering by
Vitality is influenced by the length of a voyage, storms and by the
captain's order. Do not deprive your crew of a relaxing break in the port
after a long and stormy voyage. They will repay you by increased
The experience of a crew plays a big role during storms. An experienced
crew will master dangerous voyages for instance around Cape Horn.
Additionally, ships with an experienced crew are less heavily damaged
during storms, The experience of a crew also affects the speed of a ship.
Once a crew has mastered a storm or another difficult situation, their
experience is enhanced. In this way a modarately reasonable crew can turn
out to be a top crew.
When hiring a new crew the following rule should be applied: The more
experienced a crew the higher are the wage demands. Therefore, you must
make sure to select a crew to suit the ship.
With the aid of the portrait you can determine the contentment or
motivation of a ships crew. A smiling face indicates a happy crew. A
grim- faced crew is perhaps already thinking of mutiny. If instead of a
portrait the window is closed then there is no crew on board.
Payment of Wages
The motivation of a crew is affected by the payment of wages. If one would
rather fire a crew than remotivate them one simply sets the payment on
zero. Without payment of wages even the most loyal crew will not stay
aboard. Members of the crew, however, who are still waiting to be paid off
will not leave until the dues have been paid
With the aid of the captain's order you can determine how hard the captain
drives the crew and how fast sailing is to proceed. These settings affect
If you set an order on "EASY" it means that the crew is fairing well, they
can take their time and have sufficient breaks. This humanitarian
viewpoint will not affect the vitality.
With the setting "MEDIUM.' the crew has to achieve more, any breeze is
used, additional sails are used so the work is hard. Sailing times are
reduced but with the adoption of this view point vitality is decreased.
Treat your crew to a break now and then.
If the ship sails under the order "HARD" the crew have to do their utmost,
Sailing goes on day and night and the sails are not reefed even during
storms. With this sweat and strain the crew's vitality is of course
greatly affected and therefore, you should keep an eye on your ill treated
In order to make sure that the men really drive the ship forward to achieve
record times you can put up a premium. Every sailor can use additional
money and they will make an almighty effort correspondingly. In the case
of voyages with deadlines premiums are very high.
Always bear in mind that in order to achieve an optimum speed the condition
of the ship and crew is decisive. Even the proudest clipper will not bring
about record times when damaged nor can a completely exhausted crew achieve
Since 1869 incorporates actual historic events messages regularly appear
they may bear a direct influence on the happenings of the game. The
historic section of this handbook, therefore, may give you a decisive
advantage over your competitors. Whilst your uninformed competitors may
get entangled in the troubles of the American Civil War you will already
have shifted your interests toward safer areas. Of course as a fair
shipowner you should allow your co players to gain an insight into this
handbook. Astute business people, however, will mercilessly keep the
handbook under lock and key.
Not all events have the same effect on the course of the game. The opening
of the Suez Canal in 1869 causes a shortening of the voyage times to Asia
which is a positive event indeed. On the other hand there was a sea
blockade near Odessa during the Crimean War around 1854 coupled with the
risk that ships may be captured. Accordingly this is a negative event
which perhaps is only Positive for the risky arms trade within crisis
Due to crisis and wars ports maybe closed temporarily. During a civil war
there is the danger that warehouses will be raided and burned down. Above
everything however, wars and crises affect the production and consumption
of goods in a country.
Some newspapers reports concern technical developments or even inventions.
Not all wars or clashes are reported in the papers as some of them are of
local interest only. Prior to putting into harbour you should, therefore
inform yourself about the active state of the country by using the
Options also offer the possibility to exclude newspaper reports. As
before, the events will take place but they are no longer registered.
1869 represents a very accurate trade simulation as never seen before. We
would, therefore, advise only historically well informed players to switch
off the newspaper reports. Do not underestimate the effects of daily
historic happenings on world trade.
By clicking the coin symbol of the main chart you may visit the bank at any
time. It is located in the town of the firms head office.
At the bank you may take out loans or pay back already existing loans.
However you became credit worthy only when you provide securities such as
ships, warehouses or cash. In the case of loan applications without
adequate security bankers react very unfriendly. The maximum extent of a
loan depends on the value of your securities.
You may pay off loans at any time before the due date. Since this enables
you to save considerable interest you should, if possible repay loans as
soon as possible. Loan repayments must always be effected by head office.
Therefore you must make sure under all circumstances that there is
sufficient money in the kitty of the head office.
Settlements of accounts are always dealt with On the 31st December of the
current year. If a player is not solvent at this point in time then he
must declare bankruptcy and is eliminated from the events of the game.
Therefore, be very careful with loans. The Balance Sheet screen provides
an overview of existing loans.
As you might expect 1869 also includes unpopular tax regulations. The
state requests you to pay up and you have to follow.
Taxes depends on the total tonnage of your merchant fleet and is based on
the tax regulations of Great Britain in the 19th century. The Balance
Sheet screen constantly provides an overview of the tax due for repayment.
Taxes become due for a whole year on the 31st December of the following
year. For instance the taxes for the year 1854 have to be paid on the 31st
December 1855. Debiting is effected automatically from the cash account at
the due date. If you are unable to pay the taxes your firm has to declare
bankruptcy and you will be eliminated from the game.
The Balance Sheet
The balance provides a survey regarding due dates of taxes and loans.
Furthermore you can check your stock of goods and cash flow.
Keep an eye on turnover and development of the firm, You are given the
choice to either quickly look at a graphical representation or a listing of
figures. The representation of turnover and company development assists in
a very good way to recognise economic tendencies. Moreover it permits
direct comparisons with your competitors and you are able at any time to
see how you are placed in the race for the distinction of greatest
shipowner of the century.
Using cunning, dexterity and by knowing the tricks of the trade you have
the chance to become the best shipowner of the century in history and to be
included in the list of the elite.
The List of Records
If one of your ships manages to achieve a new best time for crossing on a
record route it will be immortalised in the list of the fastest ships.
This not only lifts the mood of the proud shipowner but it also increases
the sales value of the ship. Providing circumstances are good one may
possibly be able to sell the ship at a price which is higher than her
Record times are also reported in the papers. These record times relate to
all stored games.
Options (Loading and Storing)
The option screen offers possibilities such as loading, storing, new game
or finish. In order to load a game status you have to click the desired
name and select "LOADING". You can also cancel a game status.
In order to store a game status you click initially the first empty stop of
the stairs. Now give the game status a name and click "Storing".
In this connection, too, you can exclude or include newspaper reports or
TIPS & TRICKS
In real business life and in this game too there are some golden rules
which should be observed under all circumstances. Only in this way will
one achieve the success hankered and way hoped for. Beyond that of course
there are numerous tricks which help a business man on the road to success.
Every successful trading tycoon has his own speciaI tricks and knacks which
he will not disclose. For all budding shipowners we want to reveal here
some golden rules and tricks.
1869 makes available a wide field for experiments and strategies. Find out
your own personal tricks and try out these to see which is the best way to
Ten Golden Rules
Always load ships fully. It is better to have a ship fully loaded with
cheap goods than to have a ship half-loaded with expensive merchandise.
Undertake as few profitless voyages as possible Especially avoid voyages
with no cargo.
Always keep ships in good condition. The advantage of an intact ship
offsets repair costs
When purchasing a ship leave enough money to buy goods.
Always pay taxes on time and keep money for this in reserve.
During route planning current and weather charts help to save time, and of
course time is money.
Leave only as much money on a ship as required for purchasing goods, wages
and repair costs. Surplus money should go to the warehouse or even better
to head office.
Watch political conditions in ports. Unsafe ports mean high risks.
Keep an eye on the crew and select the crew to suit the ship
Do not miss good business.
Where do I purchase the right goods?
This trading simulation is based on the economic system of imperialism (see
chapter "Imperialism"), Raw materials are imported from colonies and under
developed countries then they are processed. The finished products are in
part sold back to the colonies with high profits.
Many products such as fruit, cotton, and tea depend on harvests and are not
always readily available. This means you have to be in the right place at
the right time. Produce that depend on harvests can be contaminated during
a long voyage and become useless. If one has perishable goods on board one
should try to reach the port as soon as possible. Produce deteriorates at
the same rate for instance fruit spoils much quicker than tea. One should
also bear in mind that naturally such goods can get spoiled in a warehouse.
The motto should therefore be to get perishable goods to the buyer as
quickly as possible.
You can learn about the main export goods of a port using the information
It provides information regarding the goods and their largest quantities
kept in storage ports. Thus harvest bound goods are also indicated since
they are the main export article. During harvest time when accurately
observing the relevant information panels one can be fully informed
regarding the relevant harvest times.
With harvest dependent goods it is absolutely necessary to reach the
relevant port in good time. In most cases the product is available for two
to three months only. Therefore plan your arrival in such a way that you
arrive at the right time. You should take into consideration the possible
duration of the trip.
At the beginning of the game it is best to restrict yourself to trade in
nearby ports, Only with sufficiently large financial reserves, may one dare
to venture to such far away markets as Asia.
Second Hand Ships at the Beginning
At the beginning of a career one should if possible - refrain from having
new ships built or buying expensive second hand ships. When purchasing
ships make sure that sufficient money is left for the cargo. What is the
use of the nicest and fastest clipper if it is used for futile voyages only
No Risky Freight at the Beginning
Keep your hands off risky freight at the beginning of the game for instance
arms deliveries into territories at war. Even when the profit seems
tempting the risk of losing perhaps your one and only ship is simply too
high. If, on the other hand, you have several ships later on in the game
it could turn out to be a most lucrative business even though it may not be
exactly honourable, to load arms onto a second-hand ship and sell them at a
high profit to a territory at war.
Taking into Consideration the Political State
It is extremely important at all times to keep an eye on the political
state of a country. If a country is in a stable state then it is not
dangerous to put into its ports and conduct trading. But if there is
unrest it may happen occasionally that roaming gangs raid and plunder your
warehouse or ship. The cautious trader takes little or no cash at all on
voyages to countries where there is unrest. If uprisings are the order of
the day in a country it can happen that your warehouse or ship is plundered
completely so that you have to put to sea without money or goods.
Therefore, without very good reason one should avoid such ports.
Under no circumstances should you put into port in territories where civil
or other wars are being waged. If one is unlucky the ship might be sunk
without warning or explanation. That is the risk with which arms dealers
have to live. It is true of course that a large profit can be made when
delivering arms to territories at war but in the worst case the ship
complete with cargo is sunk.
Ship to be Loaded Fully at all Times
Always ensure that your ship is fully loaded It is far better to load a
ship fully with cheap goods than to half load her with expensive
merchandise. Try to make as few empty voyages as possible otherwise your
budget will be consumed by running costs. Take only as much money as
needed for trading. Surplus money is best kept at head office It is safe
there and prevents you from getting embarrassed when loan repayments or
taxes become due.
Repairing Old Ships
The older a ship the more expensive the repairs. With the same extent of
damage the repair to an old ship costs more than for a new ship. At some
time the point will be reached with each ship when the repair costs exceed
the purchasing costs. Meaning that repair work is no longer worthwhile.
Therefore sell old ships in good time
The Right Crew at The Beginning
To begin with you should not burden yourself with the wages required by a
top crew. As in all probability you will own an average ship, therefore
you should also hire an average crew. Proven to be reliable and dependable
men, they do not cost too much and they are not landlubbers either.
It can happen that you are stuck in a port without money or goods. The
crew refuses to work as they are not paid wages. In this case you can
dismiss the old crew and hire another one. The new crew expects wages
after their first voyage.
This very unkind method will only work, however, when there is no cargo on
board. Otherwise one would be forced to sell a part of the cargo at a low
price so that after paying the crew one can convince to carry on working
Breaks for the Crew
Since the speed of a ship is considerably affected by the crew you should
always keep an eye on the vitality of the crew. If their vitality sags the
ship will go slower. Therefore, it is an advantage not to go on stop ovcr
long distances but to call at a port in between and let the crew have a
short period of rest Thus the men can replenish their strength. vitality
is increased and with it the speed of the ship. The time lost in the port
is compensated by an increased sailing speed.
Use Breaks for Repairs
Whilst the crew recuperates in the port you can use the time to have your
ship overhauled quickly. This is advisable especially after stormy
crossings which can often cause severe damage. A damaged ship loses speed
and by having her repaired you effectively gain time. When planning the
route for long voyages bear in mind that during the voyage you will not be
given the possibility to act, meaning that even after heavy storms you
cannot simply take your ship to the next dockyard. Therefore, to be on the
safe side stop on the way when you are making a long voyage.
Save Repair Costs
It need not always be one of the best known or famous shipyards. Give a
small dockyard for instance in Bombay or Kapstadt a chance and you will see
that these shipyards carry out the quality of work at a lower price.
Terms of Loans
When taking out a loan you should agree such terms so that the loan expires
at the beginning of a year. The bank always settles up on the 31st
December. This means that if loans are unpaid by this date and interest
for delay to be paid, then bankuptcy procedure is introduced at a time of
maturity. If the terms finish at the beginning of the year then one still
has time to raise the sum at the end of the year. However, this is not an
easy undertaking when one thinks of the very high interest on delay.
Observe Due Tax Dates
Taxes for one year have to be paid at the end of the following year. This
means that the tax due is automatically debited from head office accounts.
On the 31st. December,
Bankruptcy Even in the Case of a Firm Doing Well
If there is not sufficient money in the head office account bankruptcy
procedure is introduced. Even a busy firm with sufficient capital or
assets can become bankrupt when at the tax due date there is not sufficient
money in the office account or when due loans are to be repaid. If the
value of a firm drops below a certain limit a bankruptcy procedure is also
Delivery Times for the Purchase of Ships
Take note of the delivery time of a ship since you have to pay the tonnage
tax due retroactively for the whole year. Therefore, one should plan the
purchase in such a way that the ship is delivered at the beginning of the
year. Thus it is ensured that one does not pay taxes needlessly. For the
same reason you should sell ships at the end of the year.
Locations of Warehouses.
Think carefully about the location of a new warehouse. Each warehouse
costs money and after closing a warehouse this money is lost and the value
of the firm's assets are reduced.
Warehouse at Strategic Points.
Wherever possible establish your warehouse at strategically important
points to enable you to control and cover the market.
Tea Races and Special Orders
Tea races and special orders placed with your office is good business. For
tea races you should aim to arrive in good time in India during the
harvesting period with a fast ship and a good crew. The newly harvested
tea is to be loaded and the port of destination headed for as fast as
possible. For the first cargo of tea one receives a good premium. If you
are too slow then someone else will snatch the premium from under your
End of Civil Wars and Wars
After the end of civil wars and wars there is usually an enormous demand
for goods from the reopened trade merchants. Putting into such ports will
certainly bring about some good business
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